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Managing Water at Gostwyck Farm

Managing stock water was a major challenge at Gostwyck until Paul Marsh and his team came along. Not wasting water and getting on top of any leaks quickly was a difficult job that needed a lot of chasing around and guess work.

Managing stock water was a major challenge at Gostwyck until Paul Marsh and his team came along. Not wasting water and getting on top of any leaks quickly was a difficult job that needed a lot of chasing around and guess work. This was a lot easier once the water meters, transmitters and Watersave’s web site were set up and installed. The flow rates and possible leaks can be identified by looking at the web site and seeing where there are abnormal flow rates.

Gostwyck is a superfine wool and beef cattle producer in the New England region of NSW. The grazing systems used require water to be delivered to stock at regular intervals. There is also a strong emphasis on sustainability. The farm has a sophisticated network of irrigation pipes covering over 100 km’s supplying water from a series of elevated water tanks.

Pumps are used to take stock water from creeks and bores to tanks on high points on the property and then a gravitation system is used to deliver stock water to paddocks and connect to many watering points used by approximately 18,000 sheep and 800 head of cattle.

With this large network of water pipes on the property, good water management is essential. Leaks occur regularly due to livestock damaging pipes and troughs, or supply lines fracture causing extensive water loss. Cost of pumping water can be high, but the cost of empty tanks and stock without water is much worse.

In the past, leaks and excessive water usage could only be identified by station hands chasing leaks on quad bike and trying to guess where the leak might be. This system reduces the area to look for and can often pinpoint the problem area.

The solution was to install a real-time monitoring system to alert farm-hands to potential water leaks immediately they occur.

Today, Gostwyck has the Vivid Multi-Logger Smart Meter Solution monitoring 23 separate sub-water meters and 6 main supply meters. Data loggers are solar powered and communicate via an encrypted radio signal over long distances. Water data is displayed on a graph and accessible via smartphone or web browser updating every 15 minutes. This means that farm-hands are notified within 15 minutes of a leak occurring.

Using the Watersave SmartMeter Solution in this manner, Gostwyck is able to ensure stock water is available at all times, significantly minimise water loss and reduce energy costs resulting from unnecessary pumping.

Philip Attard, Gostwyck Farm, NSW

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