In the past two decades, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) has invested many millions of dollars in water use efficiency and this continues to be a focus of industry R&D. Around 10% of CRDC's total investments are aimed at improving water use efficiency - with additional investments addressing natural resource management and climate change.
Key areas of investment include:
- Alternative, more efficient irrigation systems and technologies
- Maximising the efficiency of dams and channels
- More efficient ways to deliver water to the crop
- Achieving uniform application of water to cotton plants
- Monitoring water use and getting the timing of irrigations right
- Promoting investment in water-smart infrastructure
- Reducing evaporation from delivery systems and on-farm dams
The industry has also contributed significantly to knowledge, management and improvements in regards to the water catchments in which cotton is grown. Cotton water research, development and extension has led to improvements in understanding of groundwater resources, improved resource condition and wetland ecology.