Queensland farmers get another tool to help fight the effects of drought

Published Thursday, 01 April, 2021 at 01:00 PM

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

Queensland farmers and dam owners have another tool to their belt to help combat the devastating effects of drought.

Speaking in Charters Towers as part of the Regional Community Forum, Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the EvapAdvisor website would help farmers reduce water losses to evaporation.

“Dams play a key role in our approach to water management with more than 243,000 across Queensland,” Mr Stewart said.

“While some much needed rain has filled many dams across Queensland, now is the time for dam owners to make sure they are looking at all options into preserving as much water as possible.

“EvapAdvisor is a free tool that gives farmers access to the latest rainfall and evaporation data from the Bureau of Meteorology to help determine if water storage covers makes economic sense.”

Evaporation can result in the loss of significant amounts of water, as high as 3000 millimetres a year in Queensland, and with changes in Queensland’s climate this number is expected to rise.

Although numerous evaporation reduction methods exist, adoption in Queensland is relatively low.

At least half of Queensland’s stored water is held in dams small enough to benefit from shade covers, floating covers or, potentially, chemical applications.

The EvapAdvisor website is the latest development as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Natural Resources Investment Program.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said changing climate and seasonal conditions mean Queensland farmers need every possible tool at their disposal.

“Anything that can help our farmers to better understand the factors impacting on their water supplies means they can make the right decisions in managing their farm businesses,” he said.

Mr Stewart said the department has invested $160,000 to date through the Natural Resources Investment Program in a partnership with the University of Southern Queensland to research and develop EvapAdvisor.

“While we can’t make it rain it is important that we do everything we can to help dam owners conserve water,” Mr Stewart said.

“The Queensland Government has been working closely with leading scientists from the University of Southern Queensland to make sure dam owners have the right data to make an informed decision.”

Dam owners are encouraged to visit the EvapAdvisor at https://evapadvisor.com/