Case Study Presentations

Irrigation Australia will be introducing case study presentations by leading experts on issues that often confront the industry, detailing how these matters were successfully resolved and improved the efficient use of water. Industry suppliers will showcase their leading products in an exhibition format during the first two days of the event.


Executive Coordinator Integrated Water Planning Water & Waste

Recycled Water Network Expansion Project. This project will be rolled out in the next 2-3 years and will target the cities greenspace (parks, schools and sporting fields) for irrigation with high quality recycled water. The recycled water will be significantly lower cost than drinking water and be completely climate resilient. The new network will heavily rely on technology to enable the smart and efficient operation of an irrigation system and its variable demands. There will be a strong focus on sustainable water management with smart metering utilised to ensure costs are reduced to minimum with no wastage.


Value in Irrigation monitoring and having an Irrigation Maintenance Plan

70% of all freshwater used globally is used in irrigation. An irrigation system that is poorly maintained results in water being wasted and not reaching its intended use. With much of Australia still in drought it has never been more important to keep irrigation systems well maintained in order to minimize wastage and to improve plant health through uniform and efficient irrigation. A key to keeping an irrigation system well maintained is monitoring its performance over time.


Smart Urban irrigation Project

This project involves conducting ground surveillance of 16 irrigated locations throughout Council. Providing data such as soil moisture, salinity and infiltration rates and allowing us to know where irrigation is needed, the duration of watering required and mitigating against nutrient leaching into the eco-system. Installation of new infrastructure will be required with new IQ site controllers, 6 moisture sensors, 3 weather stations and 9 flow sensors that in conjunction with 9 master valves will automatically respond to the real time conditions- altering/preventing irrigation programs. All of this data will be communicated to a centrally controlled management system which in turn will automatically respond to the current conditions- altering or shutting down irrigation programs when issues are detected. The challenge for this project will address being one of the first to use technology of this kind to become an Urban leader in irrigation on a national scale but locally provide solutions to the increased water demand to the Cairns Region.


Data-Based Decisions for Irrigation Management

Irrigation enterprises accumulate significant volumes of data. The data becomes a valuable resource when used to provide insights for irrigation and nutrient application decisions. Combining accurate, local weather forecasts with data that most operations are automatically collecting daily can enable resource usage optimisation, water savings, better yields, reduced operational costs, and sound environmental stewardship.


Remote Management of Residential and Commercial Customers Saves Water and Grows Your Business

Utilising modern tools and internet based controllers, helps to grow contracting businesses with the benefit of saving water. Contractors and Multi-Site managers are now able to remote access multiple controllers. Utilising tools like the Hunter Hydrawise software provides management opportunities, the ability to increase business and services offered to customers and massive water savings for clients.


City of Parramatta Environmental Sustainability Strategy- Policy into Practice

The topic of my presentation will be about the journey City of Parramatta is on regarding water management. Since council amalgamation the demographic and area which makes Parramatta has changed. Council has set significant corporate goals to meet this new communities values. Now we are faced with the challenges in taking these strategic goals and making them happen. At Parramatta we are focused on gaining a deeper understanding of how we use water through a holistic review of usage in Parramatta. We are trailing the use of new technologies such as real-time metering  and sensors through a LoRaWAN network. Parramatta is also then looking at the future including climatic and population changes and growth. I will discuss the challenge is linking the organisational vision and aspirations to a successful delivery plan which meets the future state of Parramatta.

Dr. Paul Lamble | Peak Water Consulting

The optimal approach for sports field irrigation systems

This case study compares the performance, lifetime costs of ownership (capital and operating costs) and qualitative playing surface outcomes for both design and construct and professionally designed irrigation systems based on key performance indicators. It also addresses the key advantages and disadvantages of both approaches to determine the optimal approach for sports field irrigation systems.

Jack Rea | Sunshine Coast Council

Centralised control system and smart irrigation project

I prepared a presentation last year on all of the work we have done in the last 4-5 years in getting us ready to implement our centralised control system and smart irrigation project. This is a major irrigation project running over 5 years and several million dollars. This has involved a huge amount of work on capturing asset data, condition rating, irrigation mapping, trialling CCS systems and how we have managed this process.

Scott Johnstone | HydroPlan Pty Ltd

Value of Irrigation Assets Specifications for Councils

Councils vary in scale of irrigation assets and culture. For councils that actively own, manage and maintain irrigation assets in their public open spaces, recreational parks and/or sporting facilities it is not uncommon for the council managers and supervisors to oversee multi-million dollar of irrigation assets plus multi-million dollar operational budgets to irrigation inputs.

Ben Walsh | Bio-Remedy

Water Body Management and Water Quality

Presentation of three case studies about water quality of dams and theory of quality of irrigation water. The three case studies are:

  1. Ibrox Park Nursey- Irrigation Dam circulation for planktonic algae management
  2. Amgrow PTY LTD- Wastewater Dam aeration and biological remediation for water quality and nutrient reduction
  3. Brisbane City Council- Stormwater Retention basin solar powered circulation for algae management.

Sundeep Bhatt | CHT Australia

Manipulating Hydraulic Conductivity in Order to Improve Soil Health and Structure for Turf

Many turf growers and farmers are on the lookout for new ideas to overcome difficulties that have frustrated them for years. This session will discuss the innovations in chemistry that some farmers are using and many are now thinking about to help their business.

First and foremost, all farmers and turf managers alike are concerned about getting the right amount of water when and where they need it, but the soil often works against them. Too much run off. Too little infiltration. Too hard a surface. Resulting in such a complex use of chemicals; that need not be the case. Perhaps there just is not enough water, so how do we make the available water go further for us?

This presentation will introduce data from case studies that shows that the soil behaviour can be changed to allow better management of irrigation programs which will then allow the real optimisation of fertigation systems that deliver serious cost and yield benefits to the operation.

We will show how YOU can influence your soil behaviour by varying the hydraulic conductivity AS YOU WANT IT TO BE.

Will Marcus | Director of Blue Ring and Managing Director of ARGO Architects + Engineers and Master Planners

Mega Irrigation – an introduction to Biotic Pumping

Will is the Principal and Managing Director of ARGO Architects + Engineers and Blue Ring, a special purpose company established to manage the repatriation of extremely damaged landscape. He has over 38 years of continuous experience in design, construction and architecture and 24 years as a master planner. Will is coordinating a poverty alleviation and food security initiative in the Philippines with Government at several levels, the Catholic Church and the He Cares Mission, that will affect over thirty million people through a restructured agricultural land use program. Will is also Senior Technical Advisor to the Bion Energy group based in England, specialising in master planning and project development, currently working on major development initiatives in Pakistan. Will is also a Director of Rock Against Adversity, a charitable organization in the Philippines aimed at generating significant funds each year through rock concerts for poverty alleviation and disaster relief programs.

This presentation will outline the basics behind the Russian science associated with Biotic Pumping and explain its practical application.  It will also review the historical dehydration of the continent of Australia and provide two current initiatives being undertaken by Blue Ring using biotic pumping, one in Pakistan and one in the Philippines, that will deliver a model for recovery.

Joel Spry, Power Water Corporation, Demand Management Coordinator

Changing water demand through Garden Tune Up’s

The Darwin population uses more water than can be captured and supplied in the long term. With very high per capita water use, a growing population and unpredictable wet seasons consumption is becoming even less sustainable. Most water used in the region is non-essential with approximately 70% of residential water use going on gardens (57%) or leaking (12%). The general Darwin culture has traditionally had little concern for water efficiency as the region has a very high annual rainfall and relatively low historical costs per kilolitre.

Rather than invest in expensive new water sources Power and Water started the Living Water Smart demand management program to work across the community to reduce demand to a more sustainable level.

One of the innovative approaches undertaken to achieve social awareness and behavioural change was to the introduction of the Garden Tune Up rebate program. This program was devised and introduced in 2017 and is greatly contributing towards the delaying of new water source augmentation in Darwin as well as protecting the water supply in Katherine.

The program is delivered in partnership with 30 local expert irrigation businesses and to date has achieved nearly 500,000,000 litres in water savings for Power and water customers.

A $300-$500 rebate is available to eligible customers for an irrigator to provide specialist irrigation and garden services such as setting an efficient watering schedule, advice on plant selection and plant and soil health.

A new approach to using Geospatial data systems has been utilised to gather, manage and analyse data to track program performance and water savings; resulting in being awarded National and International awards for innovation.

As a first of its kind in the Northern Territory, the Garden Tune Up Program has economic, social and environmental benefits in line with government priorities to deliver community benefit and promote ecologically sustainable development of the Northern Territory by:

  • greatly contributing towards the delaying of new water source augmentation in Darwin as well as protecting the water supply in Katherine
  • generating business for local irrigation industry and increasing skills capacity;
  • providing cost savings to Territorians;
  • raising awareness of, and influencing long term water use behaviour; and
  • utilising innovative technology to create efficiencies within Power and Water Corporation.

Richard Dilena | City of Greater Geelong

Irrigation Management Officer

Picking up the theme of provision of functional green assets in the community, I will be taking a look at an example of a recent irrigation project in a passive green space which includes turf and garden beds using a variety of irrigation hardware, basically a typical small community park.  The project was designed to use captured and stored rain water off the roof of buildings, supplemented by a potable water supply, to do the irrigation.  What was the planning process, what was the outcome, what was the reality.  I’m looking forward to it!

Jonatan Ben-Tal | Rain Bird Australia
NSW Sales Manager
An efficient irrigation system saves water, time and maximises the health of all landscaped areas. This is never more important than on a Turf Farm, where minimising labour costs, monitoring and reporting on water consumption and maximising the growth rate and consistency of your turf can mean the difference between profit and loss. Rain Bird will be taking a look into the financial impact of installing an advanced irrigation system at a Sydney Based Turf Farm. We will explore the cost savings components including, labour and water consumption and also the profit maximising components of uniformity and maximising yield. The site installed a Rain Bird LXME controller with IQ3 central control. Rain Bird equipment was used throughout the site from valves and rotors to cable and swing joint risers. Join us as we explore the benefits of the system and calculate the return on investment.
mark siebentritt | Seed Consulting
Growing cool cities – The role of irrigated green cover. Capital cities around Australia contain urban heat islands, that is, parts of the urban landscape where heat accumulates. Recent heat mapping studies have started to inform our understanding of what causes this heat to disproportionately build up. On one hand, materials like bitumen roads and synthetic turf accumulate heat during the day, whereas lighter colored roofs and green cover are often cooler. There is also growing evidence about the magnitude of cooling benefit of irrigated green space. This presentation will provide case study information on the cooling benefits of irrigated green space, especially living turf, and how this should inform future decisions about how we cool, and grow, our cities.
Geoff Connellan | G&M Connellan Consultants
Performance of sports grounds irrigation systems
Lessons from assessing 100 irrigation systems. Over the past four years G&M Connellan Consultants have assessed in excess of 100 irrigation systems in the Melbourne metro and regional area. The majority of these sites were sports grounds. The results of these evaluations highlight the importance of maintenance of irrigation systems, in particular, keeping rotors functioning in optimum condition. The reasons for the commissioning these tests varied for each council. The core objectives were: a) Rate and rank systems for replacement b) Improve the water management of irrigated open space c) Identify weaknesses in existing irrigation infrastructure. To achieve these outcomes, a methodology was developed for assessing irrigation at each site. The rating of irrigation system performance is a key part of the overall irrigation management assessment. Criteria including water supply, design - layout, coverage and zoning, capability for efficiency, nozzle compliance, sprinkler installed condition and age of system are included in the assessment. The systems were classified according to Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor and Very Poor. The installed condition of rotors was identified as a very significant issue for sports grounds irrigation systems. Each rotor was assessed against six criteria comprising installed height, clearance, tilt, arc of coverage, rotation uniformity and speed and damage. The rotor faults were identified as being major or significant. A major fault would result in part of the ground not being watered. Results in terms of the overall results/findings and the installed condition of sprinklers will be presented. In addition to the assessment of the irrigation infrastructure, evaluation of the water management was undertaken using the Irrigation Index (Ii), the water use efficiency measure.
Geoff Connellan | G&M Connellan Consultants
Urban Trees - Challenges in irrigating urban trees
The tree is a critical element in the urban environment. It provides multiple benefits and services, which are now being more highly appreciated and valued. To deliver these benefits the tree needs to be healthy, grow and develop within the constraints of the site and be a species suited to the required functions. Many urban trees require irrigation to achieve the desired performance outcomes. There are some key questions when considering the irrigation of trees including; How much water is required?, What is the most appropriate method of application? and What is the most appropriate method of installation of the irrigation system, in order to protect the tree? These questions require an understanding of the growth characteristics of the tree and also the tree root system. The Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) and non-destructive methods of excavation need to be appreciated. Irrigation methods including drip, spray and watering wells will be compared in this presentation. A number of tree scenarios will be reviewed. These will include street trees passively irrigated, street trees actively irrigated, boulevard trees with trench watering, park and botanic garden trees and feature trees in built landscapes. Sites will include Bendigo Hospital landscape; Royal Botanic Gardens; Princes Gardens, Prahran, public garden trees; City of Yarra and City of Melbourne street trees.
Mr Kieran Studders and Mr Lex McMullin | Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland
Farm Management Systems Officer
Big Leaf Wholesale Nurseries is located at North Arm in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. The nursery supplies to the wholesale, retail nursery and landscape industries with a strong focus on retail presentation and sun grown or sun hardened stock. Big Leaf Wholesale Nurseries was established in September 2002 at Eumundi on the Sunshine Coast, and began relocating to the present Gold Creek Road site in December of 2013. The site has been developed and infrastructure constructed to meet nursery industry Best Management Practice (BMP) standards. Development of the new site is just three years into a five year development plan and has provided the opportunity for the business to increase production, expand the product range, increase the service area, and develop new customer relationships. The 4.05 hectare site currently provides ten thousand square metres of pot production area to be expanded to fifteen thousand square metres when completed. Big Leaf Wholesale Nurseries is owned and operated by Greg & Jackie Phillpott and Kieran Studders, who are backed by a hard working dynamic team of staff with many years of experience and a wealth of specialised knowledge.

Greg has a background in shipping and transport logistics, Jackie has many years experience in international trade and shipping, while Kieran has formal horticultural qualifications and over 33 years of horticultural experience. Greg, Jackie and Kieran are proud of the friendly and supportive workplace they have cultivated and believe it directly results in the high level of productivity achieved from the nine staff members. Staff are quick to identify the friendly work atmosphere and good communication from the owners as a key to the happy and stable workforce.
The nursery is currently a member of the ‘Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland’. Kieran has served in the role of NGIQ board member and is a former president of the local Sunshine Coast branch of NGIQ. Kieran is currently active on a number of event committees including ‘Brisbane Trade Day’ and ‘NGIQ Green Expo’.

Chris Tanner | Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities
Regional Manager (Qld)
In guiding the future of the region, the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017 (ShapingSEQ) sets out a number of implementation actions necessary to deliver the principles and strategies in the plan. In this regard the CRCWSC is the responsible agency for the ‘water sensitive region’ implementation action under ShapingSEQ. The purpose of this action is “to enable an integrated approach to the whole of catchment planning and management that is capable of linking the ecology and hydrology of cities to their region whilst accommodating urban and peri-urban growth adapted to a changing climate. Growth in SEQ is considerable and is expected to continue. The community seeks liveable places -reliable water supplies, effective sanitation, protection from flooding, healthy ecosystems, cool green landscapes, efficient use of resources, and beautiful urban and natural spaces - but while there is typically broad agreement about high-level aspirations such as the above, decision-makers face the challenge of determining how to most effectively drive the transformations needed to continue delivering that in the context of growth, climate change and complex governance arrangements.

It is our view, formed with reference to current monitoring and emerging science, that a ‘business as usual’ approach will not be sufficient to mitigate the impacts of population growth and climate change and is not achieving the liveable places we aspire to.

The presentation will cover the drivers for action, and the actions being lead by the CRCWSC. Preliminary case studies of the implementation actions at one or more of the State Priority Development Areas in Queensland with a focus on how these achieve liveability will be included

Rex Sullings | Aqueduct Consultancy
Landscape and sports turf irrigation design efficiency. The case study examines the outcomes of designing landscape and sports turf irrigation systems based on the time honored head to head principal. The study will outline the effects on water usage and costs of ownership associated with irrigation systems based on the head to head principle.
Geoff Hall | Davey Water Products
State Manager QLD/NT
Davey Heading into the Future