The project will identify where water can be a trigger for the next generation of agricultural and horticultural development and how water supplies in the Northern Adelaide Plains can meet potential demand. The project is led by Professor Jim Cox (PIRSA–SARDI) and involves colleagues from CSIRO, UniSA, Flinders University, The University of Adelaide and PIRSA–SARDI. The project has recently made important advances in four key areas – the team has:
established baseline soil physical and chemical properties, a necessary step to assess the long-term impacts of irrigation
modelled the nutrient and chemical fate, including salinity/sodicity risk - this will form the basis to identify the longevity of recycled water use and mitigation strategies under current and future climate
clarified source water options, including: quality and quantity; blending and treatment options; and storage considerations
provided an improved means of estimating the depth to groundwater, including an assessment of five geophysical techniques and 47 direct push-tube geoprobe cores.
Soil sampling locations and soil groups (focus area for soil sampling is outlined in black).
The project team are now integrating these results to provide practical guidance on the optimal use of the available water sources for long-term irrigation of perennial and annual crops.