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Queensland property shows how to profit from WaterSmart Pastoralism™

12 March, 2008

How to save tens of thousands of dollars annually with new 'off the shelf' water management technologies will be demonstrated at NAPCO's Monkira Station on Friday 4th April.

The property, one of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre's WaterSmart Pastoral Production™ demonstration sites, will host a field day to show other landholders how to profit from managing their water more effectively.

On show during field tours of the well-known Queensland cattle property will be new water management technologies that save time, water and money in the channel country.

The large remote telemetry monitoring system used on the property has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of bore runs during the past year, leading to increased profits through better pasture use combined with reduced costs of fuel, vehicle maintenance and labour.

It records information on water levels, flow rates, and rainfall, while taking still photos and operating pumps using remote controllers.

Also being demonstrated is the Enviro-liner, an 0.75mm poly liner that has completely stopped seepage in a major turkey's nest on Monkira.

The Anti-bird cover, a PVC fabric sleeve impregnated with spicy peppers, is being used in an effort to stop cockatoo damage to aerials, a common problem across desert Australia.

Also on display will be the bubble wrap style Evap-Cap evaporation control cover that floats on the top of dams, reducing the massive 2-3 metre annual evaporation losses.

Erosion control measures shown in the field tour, include fencing of dams and use of solar pumps to deliver water to poly tanks feeding new concrete stock troughs. This leaves Monkira better equipped to control grazing pressure on these water points.

Anthony Desreaux, manager of NAPCO's Monkira Station, is opening Monkira to the public for the WaterSmart™ field day where people can see the new technologies and speak with the people who use them everyday.

This will be the second WaterSmart™ field day held as part of the Desert Knowledge CRC project. The first, at Mount Ive Station in South Australia, attracted around 120 pastoralists, farmers, manufacturers and suppliers.

Desert Knowledge CRC Project Officer Colleen James says that the WaterSmart™ project helps landholders to find out about better water management practices with new water storage, delivery and monitoring technologies.

"We are not only monitoring time and costs savings associated with the new technology," she says. "We also document how reliable, and easy to use and maintain the infrastructure is for the landholder."

"At Monkira we promote effective water use technologies as a property wide management tool for better production and more sustainable outcomes," Ms James said.

For more information, contact Colleen James on 07 4652 7826 or email colleen.james@dcq.org.au. Website is www.desertknowledgecrc.com.au/watersmart .

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