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WaterSmart Dams - Making Dams Work Again


This two year project aims to develop knowledge and water planning tools for farmers who need their dams to work in all years, and be able to make water investment decisions with confidence.

The project will involve 12 core demonstration sites, building farm-based water planning tools, workshops, field days and industry training. The project will investigate solutions including renovating existing dams, building new dams, and implementing evaporation suppression and runoff technologies.

The GGA through the South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, will collaborate with the Department of Primary Industries (DPIRD) and the University of Western Australia (UWA), leveraging their existing work and prior investment in this field as well as four grower group project partners including Compass Agricultural Alliance (Darkan), Southern Dirt (Kojonup), Merredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group (Merredin) and the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group (Jerramungup).

WaterSmart Dams builds on the existing WaterSmart Farms program – a collaborative DPIRD designed program researching sustainable groundwater supply options using on-farm desalinisation technology.

This project is jointly funded through Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund (FDF) and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

Compass Ag SmartDam Champions

Paul and Janelle South

Darkan growers, Paul and Janelle South are assessing how harvesting sub-surface water in a V drain catchment affects water quality. The site aims to demonstrate how water can be extracted from underperforming waterlogged ground during the winter months and used productively. Using a V drain capture, the site aims to harvest and run this unproductive water to the dam to be stored for sheep during summer.

James and Melita Jefferies

Duranillin growers, James & Melita Jefferies are measuring evaporation in dams which provide domestic and livestock water supply on their home farm. They have built a second enlarged upper dam adjacent to an existing dam aiming to compare the two. A weather station has been installed on the side bank of the upper dam along with a floating pontoon to quantify evaporation factors.

Michael and Steven Goss

(Information Coming Soon)

Get Involved

Add your details here to follow the project, stay informed on dam design updates, field days or book a chat with one of the project team.

If you are using innovative new technologies on your dam/catchment we would be interested in hearing from you and showcasing your dam in our project gallery, complete this form.

Technology Gallery

Project Shortcuts

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Contact Enquiries

Andrew Ritchie

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