Horticulture

water restrictions now apply

Level 1 water restrictions now apply. 

While the majority of customers should be able to accommodate these restrictions, we recognise that some businesses rely on outdoor water use for continuity of operations. Water use for critical business activities may be exempt from restrictions. 

Find more detailed information on your obligations as a business during Level 1 water restrictions or to apply for an exemption.


Horticulture is extremely important to the prosperity of Australia, both in a rural and urban context. The horticulture industry includes production horticulture (fruit, vegetables and wine) and ornamental horticulture (turf and landscape).

The gross value of production in Australia was $8.4 billion (2010), ranking third in Agriculture behind the meat and grain industries. There are over 63,000 people employed in Australia to grow fruit, vegetables and nuts for the domestic and export markets. (DAFF Australian Foods Statistics 2009-10). Every 100ML of water used in horticulture generates $250,000, four jobs at the farm gate and adds $1 million to the economy (Horticulture Australia Water Initiative 2003).

Horticulture production is intensive in terms of resource use (i.e. capital, labour, fertilisers, chemicals, and water). Continued development of the horticulture industry is dependent upon growers implementing sustainable practises ie those that avoid negatively impacting on the environment and promote efficient use of resources, including water.

In recent years, the emergence of a number of water-related issues (i.e. rising water tables, salinisation, surface and ground water contamination, reduced river flows, and water supply security) has brought attention to the importance of water use efficiency.


To improve water use efficiency, growers and irrigation managers should:

  • Use irrigation methods that are appropriate to the crop.
  • Monitor and maintain irrigation system performance.
  • Manage water application in terms of needs of the site and local weather conditions.
  • Engage a certified irrigation designer. For more information visit Irrigation Australia


Benefits:

The benefits of saving water in horticulture include:

  • Increased savings through reduced water and pumping costs.
  • Reduced leaching of nutrients (and hence, reduced fertilizer application).
  • Reduced amount of drainage water and surface runoff.
  • Additional water for expansion or trading, and
  • Less impact on environment.