IMAG0853IMAG085419th July, 2016


One of the largest water surveys to be undertaken in the Limestone Coast is now underway. The Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council (LCGWC) have secured grants through the South East Natural Resource Board’s ‘Partnerships Funding Program’ and Wine Australia’s Regional Program to conduct an extensive online survey and follow-up workshops on groundwater use and quality. The LCGWC is calling on the region’s 1500+ irrigators (of which 222 are vineyards) to add some depth to existing knowledge about groundwater quality by completing the confidential questionnaire by the end of July, with the feedback set to contribute towards the development of best management practices for optimum bore health.

Coonawarra viticulturist Dr Cath Kidman and LSCGWC Technical Sub-Committee chair, Dr Kerry DeGaris, are leading the survey team looking to help secure the future sustainability of the resource.

“We know bore health is changing and that it can impact upon irrigation infrastructure and bore life,” Dr Kidman explains. “We want to know if people have noticed changes in the water from their bores, whether they are spending more on bore maintenance than in the past, and whether they have had to change irrigation practices because of a loss inefficiency.”

The survey is not exclusive to the wine industry, with all licensed irrigators in the Limestone Coast encouraged to participate and be in the draw to win an iPad.

“We want to hear from all regional irrigators from intensive horticulture to irrigated pastures, so that we can gain a better understanding of the problems they are facing with Iron and Sulphate bacteria, calcium deposits, salinity and the impacts of these on infrastructure, and the costs and methods that are being employed to remediate these issues,” Dr Kidman says.

Project facilitator, Dr Kerry DeGaris, says the results of this survey will allow the LCGWC to better target research and extension on the management of these problems through a series of workshops and publications later in the year.

“The feedback and subsequent workshops will address the key issues identified in the survey, and provide benefits to landholders in terms of bottom line and hopefully longevity of their systems and infrastructure,” she says.

The survey closes on 31st July and is available at:

For further information or interviews, please contact Dr Kerry DeGaris on 0417 408 796.