Client: Melbourne Water

Project Summary:

Jamie (while at Storm Consulting) was engaged by Melbourne Water to work with Strawberry growers. The trend in strawberry growers is to add polytunnel roof systems to hectares of strawberry fields.  The impact to the downstream environment is significant in the much larger volumes being received by the waterway.  We were engaged to provide opportunities to limit the impact  of the increased flows and look for ways to re-use the water on site.

Consideration needed to be given to the licensing requirements for all farm owners concerned.  Melbourne Water were tolerant of harvesting off the ground if we could maintain pre-development or environmental flows to the waterway.  On various sites we sized dams and storage options that could assist with the irrigation demands that increased when they roofed the catchment.

We undertook significant water balance models to determine demands, storage size requirements and potential pumping arrangements.

Through this engagement we worked closely with property owners and managers to determine what solutions and options might be achievable.  We also considered the water quality impact with a focus on sediment control.

Key Features and Innovations:

  • Land Capability assessment
  • Demand modelling
  • Grower engagement and collaboration