Water Resources

The control, extraction and licencing of water is variable based on your location and may be subject to change. For information on this topic, contact the state water department for your location.

Table 5. Overview of water licencing in NT, QLD and WA for extraction of water for irrigation of mango crops in 2020-21

Conditional licences required if you are in a water control district or if you don’t have direct access to water.

Licence required for surface water.

Conditional for groundwater, yes if you are in an area established through the Water Regulation 2016 or a water plan.

Conditional, water licence required if you are in a proclaimed groundwater area or if the water is drawn from an artesian source.

How to manage your own access to water

For best practice, the following should be undertaken before the establishment of mango orchards:

  • Orchard and irrigation design planning
  • Estimation of water requirement, including buffers for extreme weather, drought and emergencies
  • Identification of water availability, quality, security of supply and any associated costs
  • Assessment of suitability of the site based on the above in conjunction with climate records and projections.

Once the orchard is established, actively manage and monitor water access through the relative managing body and environmental monitoring agencies. Have management plans in place for drought and extreme years, and adapt plans to changing climatic conditions. Keep informed of the relevant policy and regulatory frameworks that may influence access to water in your region. Continue to invest in improving water use efficiency and reduce the environmental impacts of irrigation.

How to measure and report how much water you need now and will need in the future

Irrigation calculations can be used to estimate the volume of water required now and in the future. Estimate the water requirement of an orchard now by using recent or long-term average climate variables.

It is important to also consider how the climate of your production region may change and how this could impact the water requirement of an orchard. Changes to rainfall and evaporation have been projected in various climate models and these can be used to estimate variation in water requirement under future emissions scenarios. This is particularly important for the establishment of new orchards that are expected to remain in production for up to 30 years.

Climate change projections can be accessed on either the Climate Change in Australia website or on the Australian Landscape Water Balance (ALWB) simulated data.

Back to Top