There are more than 140 vineyards in the Canberra wine region, and many benefits to saving water in the industry. 

Economic benefits

  • Water costs for mains water go down, as well as the costs of wastewater disposal.
  • The need to pump water around the vineyard goes down, which reduces annual energy costs and greenhouse emissions.
  • Your infrastructure requirements are simpler, for example less maintenance of pumping equipment and water pipes.

Agronomic benefits

  • Improved quality of grapes; and
  • Improved crop yield (more grapes per area of land).

Additional benefits

  • You'll improve your business image and the marketability of your product.
  • You'll reduce the impact of stormwater flow and the potential for erosion. This minimises damage to your property, as well as the local environment.
  • You'll be protecting our region's aquatic environments because the quality of flows from your property will be higher. 
  • Your business will be better prepared for any future droughts, water restrictions or an increase in water prices.
  • You'll minimise the impacts of salinity and groundwater contamination in your region.

How to save water in the wine industry

  • Install water meters on your major plant machinery and processes. This will allow you to track water use performance, identify leaks and set targets for water reductions.
  • Conduct a detailed water audit to identify problem areas and prioritise how you can manage them.
  • Use equipment with automatic shut-off devices, to eliminate water wastage.
  • Use high-pressure nozzles and spray devices. The higher pressure should clean surfaces more effectively and use less water at the same time. 
  • Use flow restrictors to control flow rates to equipment and taps.
  • Try to avoid mixing solids with water wherever possible.
  • Sweep down surfaces rather than hosing or mopping. Use brooms, scrubbers and squeegees.
  • Filter out organic materials before discharging water as effluent.
  • Introduce automatic cleaning systems, to reduce both water and chemical use.
  • Use water sparingly when cleaning equipment.
  • Recycle water used in leak testing barrels.
  • Consider treating and reusing winery wastewater for vineyard or other crop irrigation.
  • Consider using rainwater and stormwater collected from the site for activities such as wash-downs and toilet flushing. See our sections on rainwater and construction for more information.

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