Saving water on irrigation

Save water on irrigation to increase the efficiency of your water use on the land.

There are many water-saving irrigation practices that can increase the efficiency of your water use on the land.

Water budgeting

Estimating your crops monthly water requirements based on historical irrigation data can assist to calculate your usage.

To find historical irrigation data and review the daily reference evapotranspiration (ETo) in your area, visit the Bureau of Meteorology.

Install an irrigation scheduling device

Irrigation scheduling devices are available commercially. These devices can give you irrigation recommendations based on real, scientific data about your soil, crop type, development stage and automatically updated weather conditions.

To learn more about these devices and get advice on an irrigation system to suit your crops, contact a private irrigation designer or our Rural Team on 1800 808 830.

Maintain your irrigation system

Checking, monitoring and maintaining your irrigation system for blockages and leaks can save water and money. Maintaining your system ensures it works efficiently and lasts longer.

Avoid leaching losses

Make sure you’re using the right amount of water at the right time of day.

Careful monitoring of your moisture levels can help you to avoid water losses below the root zone. Know your requirements and the forecasted weather.

Use mulch wetted strips

Mulching crop areas can help to reduce evaporation from the soil when there’s no shade.

Mulching is a great option for young plantings where a large percentage of the soil is exposed to the sun. Mulch is also a form of weed control.

Irrigate at night

Watering at night can provide water savings of 20–30% compared to watering during the day. Watering at night means that water is less likely to evaporate before it’s absorbed by plants and lawns.

Eliminate water run off

Maintaining the open area and keeping the ground level can help avoid water runoff. If there is surface runoff, consider gently breaking up the soil to improve water penetration.

Follow water restrictions

In the event of drought, there may be reduced water allocations. For more information on seasonal determinations and water outlooks go to

Use less water

For information about using less water for irrigation, see Managing horticultural crops with less water on the Irrigating Agriculture website.