Sydney’s WaterSmart farmers on YouTube

WaterSmart farms in the Sydney basin now feature on the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) YouTube channel.

Three videos highlight how farmers and government are working to boost agriculture and protect the environment by better using water and nutrients.

DPI WaterSmart Farms project officer, Luke Jewell, said the videos show how a dairy farm in Camden, a hydroponic truss tomato farm in nearby Austral and an award-winning commercial nursery in the north-western Arcadia are changing the way Sydney farms.

“As part of the WaterSmart Farms project these farms now contribute to annual savings of 5,900 megalitres or 5,900,000,000 litres of water in the Sydney basin,” Mr Jewell said.

“Water savings were achieved by helping farmers put in more efficient irrigation systems and Australian Government’s purchase of water licences in the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment.”

Financed by the Australian Government’s Water for the Future Initiative and the NSW Government Climate Change Fund, DPI staff worked with growers to deliver 131 water saving infrastructure upgrades – 92 river water irrigation and 39 town water projects.

WaterSmart Farms projects now contribute to boosting environmental benefits for the catchment by better using water sourced from the river system and town water.

Farms featured on the YouTube site are:
·        University of Sydney – Westwood Farm. The farm produces irrigated fodder crops for a training and commercial dairy herd. New infrastructure is saving river water and protecting the environment.

·        Hok Lam – Greenhouse truss tomatoes. This hydroponic farm has cut town water use by 35%. Run-off is captured, filtered and reused. As a demonstration farm for the project it’s now showing other growers how to integrate water efficiency and production values.

·        Cameron’s Nursery.  A commercial garden nursery in Sydney’s north is harvesting rain water and treating dam water to save on town water use. Their water-saving innovations have sparked community, industry and government interest.  Ω