To attain the Natural Water Sources Achievement farmers will only be using rain water and on farm dams as their sources of water. Any water pumping from local waterway and bores are excluded.
A farm’s water can come from rain, on farm dams, local waterways and bores. Farmers pump up water from their local waterways and bores to irrigate their crops which helps increase their yield.
Water from bore and local waterways used for irrigation contains more salt than rainwater. This salt is left in the soil once the water has been absorbed and evaporated by the crops. Too much irrigation can also cause the water table to rise which has dissolved mineral salts within it. When the water table reaches the top soil due over watering, it increases the soil’s salinity. This is toxic to the plant because it affects availability of nutrients in the soil and disrupts the plants osmosis. A report into Irrigation Salinity by the NSW Department for Primary Industries found 31 different agricultural, environmental, and social costs to salinization. When farms use natural water sources, they reduce the risk of increasing the water table and causing salinisation. Thus, an AgWe farmer’s aim is to use as little irrigation as possible.
The Natural Water Sources achievement allows customers to support farmers who use their rainwater very efficiently. By taking less water from our bores and local waterways we can decrease the chances of our soil salinization and promote sustainable farming.