Irrigation Innovation in a Changing Climate Workshop
Irrigation Australia Limited (IAL), the National Program for Sustainable Irrigation (NPSI) and the Cooperative Research Centre for Irrigation Futures (CRCIF) see the need for a paradigm shift in irrigation innovation. This need has been highlighted further by the climatic conditions of the early 21st Century, but it has been evident for some time. Such a shift would enable the irrigation industry to improve its water use efficiency, and to improve river and landscape health, while accruing long term benefits for the people of Australia. IAL, NPSI and CRCIF see the potential for Australia to be a world leader in irrigation knowledge and technology, and they see that this in turn, has the potential to generate significant economic benefits.
To start addressing that need, with the support of the Australian Government, IAL, NPSI and CRCIF jointly convened a workshop titled “Irrigation Innovation in a Changing Climate”. The aim of the workshop was to kick off a process to develop a ten-year irrigation innovation strategy. The workshop, held in Canberra on 16 September 2008, attracted about 100 participants from a broad cross-section of the irrigation industry. It included people from urban water organisations, garden irrigation supply companies, irrigators, policy makers, researchers, manufacturers and rural water supply organisations.
The workshop was timely. The CRCIF completes its seven year term on 30 June 2010. NPSI also completes its phase two three year term in 2010 and is currently considering future options. There is no clear pathway for future nationally coordinated investment in or delivery of irrigation innovation after that date.