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Funds for water monitoring kit save time and protect stock

With a grant of just $5,000, Riverina Local Land Services has helped a landowner near Hay cut his travelling by more than 500 km every week and given him peace of mind that his stock have access to water.

During the peak of summer, Jono Clark made the 260 km round trip from his home at Jerilderie to his property near Hay two to three times a week to check on the welfare of his stock.

Thanks to Riverina Local Land Services, Mr Clark now has access to equipment to remotely monitor the water levels in his tank and troughs, saving him at least one trip a week.

Mr Clark received a grant under the Innovation in Rangelands program, which has been delivered by Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

It helped him install an Observant tank level kit with ultrasonic depth sensors and three trough camera kits at his property, East Narringa, which is 50 km south-east of Hay.

Now he can check the tank and trough levels without leaving home by viewing images from a web-based monitoring app and, if the tank drops below its normal range, he receives an SMS alert.

“It has been a very worthwhile project for my business,” Mr Clark said.

“Last December, before I installed the telemetry equipment, a trough ran dry because a solar bore played up and 40 rams ran out of water for a short time.

“I don’t want that to happen again and this monitoring equipment will ensure it doesn’t.”

Senior Land Services Officer (Rangelands Grazing), Sally Ware said the Innovation in Rangelands program aimed to encourage pastoral livestock production landholders in the rangelands to adopt innovative, sustainable agriculture practices and technologies.

“We have supported 20 landholders in the Hay and Carrathool local government areas with funding through this project,” Ms Ware said

“It has given them the opportunity to incorporate new ideas and tools onto their properties, with the aim of improving long-term pastoral management practices.

“We have funded everything from water telemetry systems to electronic stock identification technology, sheep lick feeders and solar water pumps.”

All the applicants had to contribute to half the overall cost of their projects including an in-kind contribution.

Caption: Jono Clark with the camera he uses to remotely check the water levels on the troughs at his property Narringa East, near Hay.

ENDS

Media contact: Hannah Ritchie, Riverina Local Land Services, Phone: 0448 851 224