Almond Irrigation BPM Project

The Almond Irrigation Best Practice Management project was funded by Hort Innovation, using the almond research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.

The project was conducted by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), with assistance from the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DEDJTR) and Netafim Australia.

Key Findings

Irrigation Performance Audit

A key component of the project was a drip irrigation system performance audit of the Australian almond industry, to assess the performance of drip irrigation systems across the major almond producing regions of South Eastern Australia (Adelaide Plains, Riverland, Sunraysia and Riverina). In total fifty irrigation valve units were tested across the above regions, and were ranked according to their performance against a set of standard indicators.

Performance of valve units against these indicators was also compared with other data collected at each site, including age of the system, water source, filtration type, and maintenance frequency. These critical factor comparisons assisted in identifying best practice management leading to good drip irrigation performance.


Results of System Performance Audit

Best Practice


Performance Indicators

The following set of standard indicators of irrigation performance were used for this project:

Drip Irrigation Evaluation Tool

The drip irrigation evaluation tool allows growers to compare the performance of their own drip irrigation systems against the 50 sites evaluated in the almond industry irrigation performance audit.


Drip Irrigation Evaluation Tool