The initiative involves a working audit to be completed by growers/irrigators to encourage them to examine their current systems and to compare them with good practice standards.

By completing a set of tables on water availability and recording information collected during the irrigation season, users will prepare an Action Plan aimed at improving the efficiency of irrigation water usage.

It is hoped users will explore ways to secure adequate supplies of water to meet their irrigation requirements in dry summers. Farmers and growers can thereby ensure that their crops receive adequate water during the growing season to produce high yields and also to meet the demanding market requirements for quality and continuity of supply.

“Conservation and effective application of irrigation water is of vital importance, particularly with the ever increasing and competing demands for water during dry summer months,” said Countryside Minister, Mr Elliot Morley.

The Water Code is also designed to reduce nitrate leaching by ensuring the crop utilises the fertiliser that is applied. This is of particular significance to farmers and growers in the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone areas.

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