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Historical document

Developing water efficiency in the horticultural market - identifying best practice and leveraging marketing advantage (NY12015)

Key research provider: Smart Approved WaterMark
Publication date: June, 2014

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

This project set out to improve water efficiency in the horticultural sector through the identification and promotion of industry best practice and water saving technologies.

In his 2013 World Water Day addressed Ban Ki-Moon and identified the water/food/energy nexus as a key global issue and endorsed better use of water in food production, promoting ‘more crop per drop’. With increasing costs for water and energy, making the best use of water remained an important issue for the horticulture industry. Smart Approved WaterMark was Australia’s water conservation label and was a key demand management tool which certified water efficient products and services and promoted ways to get the best value from water.

The key outputs of this project were:

  • Identifying the potential for marketing products produced using best value of water, and leveraging marketing advantage through water efficiency certification in international markets;
  • Research into potential outdoor water conservation technologies and national industry survey on uptake of water conservation measures in the horticultural sector;
  • Research into the water/energy nexus in rainwater harvesting;
  • National industry survey on uptake of water conservation measures in the horticultural sector; and
  • Independent Expert Panel assessment and certification of water efficient technologies and services.

Key recommendations for future research and development were:

  • Further investigation to identify the barriers to adoption of water efficient certification, technologies and practices.
  • Further research to identify and certify services enabling water efficiency in the nursery and garden, landscape and irrigation industries;
  • Reinstating the annual Newspoll water saving consumer national omnibus survey to track water efficiency in the community;

Key recommendations for practical application to industry were:

  • Development of a pilot project to identify issues in certification water efficiently grown and processed produce.
  • Stronger linkages made between SAWM water efficiency research and the national 20:20:20 Vision campaign
  • Development of a tool showing the water and energy costs and savings from different rainwater harvesting systems – specifically with a focus on energy efficiency of pumps.
  • Development of international cross compliance between water efficiency certification and labelling schemes.

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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Water Services Assoc Of Aust Ltd T/A Smart Approved WaterMark.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2014. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).