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Farm Dams for the Sugar Industry

Farm dams provide flexibility in utilising additional sources of water at times more suited to crop demand. Added benefits include recycling and reducing offsite runoff of nutrients and pesticides.

To assist sugar growers building farm dams, a training workshop for industry extension personnel was conducted. The main objective of the workshop was to give extension officers an understanding of the processes involved in building a farm dam.

FSA Consulting developed industry guidelines for building farm dams ie. "Farm Dams for the Sugar Industry". The guidelines were based on the assessment of twenty case studies on real life examples around the district. FSA Consulting undertook these case studies. The guidelines were meant to ground truth the type of situations an extension officer is likely to encounter.

Incorporated into these guidelines was the work conducted by the Dam Easy research team in developing a tool to assess the feasibility of potential farm dams (Dam Ea$y). The technical expertise of the Dam Ea$y research team (CSIRO) and FSA Irrigation, engineering consultants was used to conduct the workshop.

Approximately 20 participants attended the workshop with 15 from the Bundaberg
region, and five from Proserpine, Tolga, Mackay and Ayr. FSA Consulting provided speakers for the workshop and field trips.

Two manuals were produced for use at the workshop:

  • Lisson, S.N., Brennan, L.E., Bristow, K.L., Keating, B.A., Hughes, D.A. and
    Hughes, R.A. 2001.
    “ Software for assessing the costs and benefits of on-farm
    water storages on Bundaberg sugarcane farms – Bundaberg workshop
    manual – Beta version, 5-7 June 2001”
    , CSIRO
  • Watts, P., Cox, G. and Stepnuk, L. 2001.
    “ Farm dams for the sugar industry”, FSA Irrigation.
    This manual can be downloaded at our Publications page.
This project was a joint initiative of


Building a Dam

Sugar Irrigation

Firing the Cane

Harvesting Sugar Cane



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