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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 3

I Background

II Early European Settlements

III Assessment Of Available Water Resources

IV Water Supplies For Goldmining Development

V Irrigation Development

VI Farm And Stock Water Supplies
i Early development - extensive distribution systems
ii The Great Artesian Basin
iii Groundwater research
iv Windmills
v Farm storages

VII Urban Water Supplies

VIII Wastewater Management And Treatment

IX Water Quality Management

X Limnological And Water Quality Research

XI New Techniques In Water Resource Planning And Management

XII Legislation

XIII Conclusion

XIV List Of Abbreviations

XV Acknowledgements

XVI Plantations-high Productivity Resources



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Farm storages

On the farm, larger and more effective storages have been made possible by the use of bigger and more efficient equipment and improved methods of soil analysis and dam design, including the estimation of catchment run-off and peak rates of discharge. In many areas, these developments have enabled the storage of water for supplemental irrigation as well as domestic and stock purposes.

New techniques have been extended to the construction of large off-stream storages, which can serve several farms. These storages, in the form of excavated tanks or ring tanks, are used to hold surplus flows from adjacent streams, and drainage water from local irrigation schemes. These large off-stream storages will become increasingly significant as major rivers approach the economic limit of water conservation in large reservoirs.

Evaporation from farm storages and earth channels has been a major concern for many years, particularly in the arid inland, where evaporation rates can be as high as 2.8 m per annum. Considerable effort has been expended in Australia and overseas to develop effective and economical evaporation suppressants, so far without success. A technological break-through in this field could result in a massive increase in available rural water supplies and a consequent increase in agricultural production and the security of farming.

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 169 - 170, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher