Coal Seam Gas looks to Netafim for water solutions – Leading decision makers in the mining industry are increasingly adopting the use of drip irrigation as a way of effectively controlling and managing their water for beneficial reuse purposes and environmental sustainability.
Specialist irrigation company, Netafim, is playing a pivotal role in this increasingly significant aspect of coal seam gas production. As the world’s leader in smart irrigation solutions, Netafim has worked in various mining segments around the world for a number of years. Although perhaps best known for a unique dripperline solution for mineral heapleaching, in recent years the development of a coal seam as industry in Queensland has led to Netafim becoming involved with water treatment and beneficial reuse schemes in this segment also.
For many years Netafim has been involved with supplying and supporting the largest drip irrigation systems in Australia. Drip irrigation has gradually become recognised as the most effective way to manage water, fertiliser and chemicals in agriculture. It can also obtain the best results from the crop that is being grown in terms of a yield and quality perspective. As the largest drip irrigation company in the world, Netafim has been uniquely placed to offer products, knowledge and support to those wishing to install this unique technology for water management. Now, with the coal seam gas industry needing a solution to effectively control and manage their water for beneficial use purposes, drip irrigation offers them the tool to do this.
Business Development Manager, and long term irrigation industry expert, Peter Durand said that with drip irrigation, the water producer can accurately apply water to a crop without fear of overwatering and the environmental risks this entails.
“The water producer can also ensure that they are maximising the productivity of the crop they have chosen to grow. The optimal results are achieved because chemicals and fertilisers can be fed through the dripperline and because the water can be applied in the precise quantities that are required by the plant,” Durand said.
“Another unique benefit of utilising drip irrigation is the ability to manage soil characteristics and growing conditions while using poor quality water, which is often the case in the coal seam gas applications.”
Again, the precision of application and the ability to maintain the correct conditions in the soil are the primary reasons why this is achievable. An irrigation solution for beneficial reuse in the coal seam gas industry will generally incorporate all of the components that are typical in an agricultural solution. This includes filters, valves, dripperlines and other ancillary components.
Durand stated that the critical component in the coal seam gas industry is the ability to control and remotely manage the system. Netafim’s Crop Management Technologies (CMT) offer this ability. The solutions offered by CMT enable the remote management of an irrigation system – incorporating operating the system, monitoring inputs from the field and activating alarms when the system is not within certain tolerance. Through Netafim’s global involvement with precision agriculture, the CMT systems offer the benefits of learning how to best grow crops in a range of different environments and scenarios.
It should be noted that whilst coal seam gas is a new application for drip irrigation, the system components are typical of most of the large agricultural systems which have been operating for many years. Netafim, through its dealer network, have considerable experience with installation and support of these systems. Therefore, the risk associated with utilising this method of beneficial use is minimal. There are already a number of drip irrigation systems installed in the coal seam gas fields, utilising the water to grow trees and agricultural crops. This has so far proven to be an environmentally sustainable method for effectively utilising water and maximising the economic return.
For further information on the company’s range of systems and allied products call (03) 8331 6500 or visit the website www.netafim.com.au.