Why irrigation is important for sustainable food production

  • Irrigation is about getting the most amount of fruit, veggies, grains, fibre (and other produce) with the lowest amount of water resources.

  • Irrigation lets farmers control their water so that it can be used optimally to get the most crop per drop. Water can be applied to a crop in the right quantity, at the right time.

  • Irrigation underpins the production of many fruit, vegetable and cereal crops including soya, berries, nuts, legumes such as mung beans as well as supporting meat, dairy and fibre.

  • Increasing food demand and increasing water scarcity means irrigation has a vital role at the nexus of food and water security into the future.

  • Irrigation technology and infrastructure allows farmers to be more resilient to the harsh realities of Australia’s variable rainfall patterns and dry climate.

  • Since the late 1960s, irrigation farmers have worked with governments through multiple stages of water reform, actively seeking to improve the environmental and productive resilience of their local regions.

  • Irrigation in NSW contributes more than $3.5 billion to the State’s economy [1]  and employs tens of thousands of people across the production and value chain.


We must continue to recognise the role of irrigation in sustainable food and fibre production, through efficient management of water resources, as well as the environmental stewardship of our farmers by protecting biodiversity, providing drought refuges for wildlife, and in conserving native species.


Full credit and all rights for the previous stories are reserved for the relevant Member Organisation. Thank you to our Members, and other partners, for taking part in this campaign.


 [1] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Gross Value Irrigated Agricultural Production 2016-17.

Highlights from World Water Day: Yanco Creek

Irrigation farmers in Yanco Creek are collaborating to improve platypus habitat in their waterways.

This involves over 150 landholders voluntarily contributing through levy payments to improve the health of the creek system. These irrigation farmers highly value wetland ecosystems and the populations of threatened species in the catchment, such as the nationally endangered Trout Cod while at the same time producing high yielding, high quality food and fibre.