The Protecting the Environment via On-farm Water Efficiency Project, delivers a number of on-farm pilot activities testing the viability and effectiveness of modernised on- farm water capture technologies to meet future farming need, and achieve improved water efficiency.
The project aims to make use of existing technology and subsidise farmers to implement improvements on their own farms. In return for the farmers will share the benefits knowledge and skills they have gained through on-farm demonstrations. One of four pilot projects are being run on a free-range heritage pig farm at Barongarook, south of Colac.
By utilizing an understanding of hydrology, contours and native filtering plants, the Barongarook Pork Farm aims to design and construct green (soft) infrastructure to clean, filter, store and re-use farm water for the small free-range pig enterprise. A solar and battery system will then pump water to a header tank to gravity feed efficient modern troughs.
Paddocks will be designed to allow for best use of contours and land classes with consideration of seasonal change. All of this planning and design will provide clean water for the pigs and protect the Boundary Creek from nutrient run off. Shade and water plants will assist in reducing evaporation of the dam.
The Victorian Government has provided $22 million over the next four years to implement Our Catchments, Our Communities, Victoria’s first state-wide Integrated Catchment Management Strategy, focusing on people working together to coordinate planning, investment and on-ground activities to improve the effectiveness of a range of environmental, economic and social outcomes. All four pilots are set to hold public field day events over the next two years, supported by local Landcare groups, in order to promote and share information about on farm water efficiency.