South East Water brings expertise to new water research centre

Posted 6 April 2017

Green plantsExpanding the use of biosolids and recycled water in the farming industry are key areas South East Water will advise on as part of the new Co-Operative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (CRC-HPS). 

The Victorian utility is the only water utility in the new CRC-HPS, which aims to help farmers optimise their productivity, yield and profitability while ensuring the long-term sustainability of their businesses.

Acting Managing Director at South East Water Charlie Littlefair said the utility would provide scientific expertise, as well as test and development resources to aid research into biosolids and recycled water

Biosolids and recycled water are already playing an important role in extending growing seasons and boosting soil nutrients and carbon, but more research and innovation is needed to enable their use in different regions and soil types,” he said. 

“The breadth of capabilities of the CRC-HPS means we can now deliver that research, unlock new value in Australian agriculture and build more productive farming practices. 

“We’re looking forward to sharing the results of that research with the broader water industry.”

The University of Newcastle-led centre brings together 42 organisations from Australia and around the world in a bid to bridge the gap between soil science and farm management. 

University of Newcastle Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Kevin Hall said the CRC-HPS would develop real solutions to overcome barriers to high-performance soils.

“The Australian agricultural industry is worth $48 billion and feeds 60 million people. However our soils are at risk due to increasing soil degradation, the rising cost of nutrient inputs and competing land use,” he said.