Tasmania is situated in the southern part of the Australian continent, considered a splendid getaway island that boasts of untouched wilderness, thousand-year-old trees, rugged coastlines, and rushing whitewater rivers. Tasmania is capable of producing high quality farm products. Its fertile soil, temperate climate and adequate water supply complemented by developed irrigation systems, all contribute to its progressive agricultural industry. In Tasmania, agriculture plays a major part in the economy as there are other industrial sectors that also rely in agriculture.
The government of Australia is oblivious to the fact that agriculture plays a key role in their economy and for this reason, the need to closely monitor and strengthen their irrigation systems in the face of calamities like drought and natural disasters is but imperative. One third of Tasmanias 68000 square kilometers land area is attributed to the agricultural industry which is why irrigation plays an integral part in its agricultural sector.
Statistics reveal that 14,000 gigaliters or 65% of the total water consumed are used for irrigation of agricultural land in Australia. It is alarming to note that this amount of water is not efficiently used the way it should be. Here lies the importance of an efficient irrigation system so that water can be conserved and utilized for the right purpose.
The sprinkler type or overhead irrigation is the one of the most commonly used irrigation systems in Tasmania. Water is sprayed over the crops by use of sprinklers or guns attached to an elevated structure. In a solid set sprinkler system, water is fed from a pump set and runs through a row of pipes or hard hoses. This kind of sprinkler is permanently installed at strategic locations of the farm area that need irrigation.
In a travelling irrigator system, the sprinkler is attached to a wheeled mechanism and has mobility to move across the farm area to perform its irrigation function. Another type of sprinkler irrigation system is the pivot irrigation device where pieces of pipes are connected to a framework of beams holding the pipes together. The sprinkler head moves in a circular motion and water is supplied into the pivot point at the center of the circle. Of all the sprinkler irrigation systems, the centre pivot irrigation is the most widely used by farmers in Tasmania.
A more traditional type of irrigator system is flood irrigation which is considerably the least expensive of all the irrigation systems. Here, water is allowed to flow on the crops directly to the farm bed. It does not require complicated machines to irrigate farms by this means. On the other hand, in furrow irrigation, shallow water canals are hollowed out between rows to catch the water that irrigate the crops.
The importance of an efficient irrigation system is crucial to the development of the agricultural industry in Tasmania. Since agriculture is highly reliant on abundant water supply, emphasis should be given on the proper irrigation agriculture practice by means of getting the appropriate irrigation equipment suitable to the needs of the agricultural lands in Tasmania.