Near real-time data will help farmers better manage their water thanks to subsidised $3.7 million telemetry for the roll-out of up to 950 water meters in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin.
Australian company Goanna Ag will work directly with water users in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin to supply and install the devices, at no cost to water users.
The telemetry devices will be installed on surface water meters and will transmit meter data in near real-time and will help improve water management and simplify reporting requirements.
Telemetry will reduce the need in future for manual data collection from the physical meter site.Improved data will help water users monitor their own water take and this can inform on-farm business decisions.
The department will use this data for information to support its water management and regulatory responsibilities.
Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek said the project had many benefits.
"When it comes to a resource as precious as water, accurate and timely information is vital to make sure rules are being applied fairly to everyone," she said.
"These telemetry devices will improve data in the northern Basin and provide assurance that water for the environment is kept in our rivers.
"The devices will also provide real-time data to help farmers make informed decisions about their water use.
Water Minister Glenn Butcher said the government was serious about better water management, while keeping implementation costs as low as possible.
"I'm pleased to continue working with the Australian government to deliver subsidised improvements to water measurement," he said.
'It's also great to see a local business will be involved in this important work.
"The funding we've secured from the Australian government means we're now able to roll out telemetry devices, at no cost to the water user - that will help us to better measure water take in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin".
Mr Butcher said the state government had allocated more than $104 million in irrigation price discounts and support since 2021-22 for irrigators in supplemented schemes.
"These measures are saving an average of at least $1500 per irrigator for water," he said.
"We've also absorbed irrigators' share of dam safety costs."
Queensland Farmer's Federation chief executive officer Jo Sheppard said the organisation had been lobbying for this project and welcomed the announcement.
"QFF and members have been advocating for improved telemetry support to provide affordable, efficient and cost-effective water metering for some time, as well as improve efficiencies for farming businesses," she said.
"Queensland farmers have some of the highest input costs, and produce some of the best food, fibre and foliage in the world, and an effective water market is critical to ensuring they can continue to do so.
"Not only will this decision see telemetry support to adopt technology for farmers, a stronger management framework and improved water trading opportunities will ensure water equity across the market, which is good news for the Queensland agriculture sector at large."
Eligible water users will be contacted shortly about receiving the fully subsidised telemetry installation.
For more information on the telemetry program call (07) 4529 1289 or email Telemetry.Program@rdmw.qld.gov.au
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