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While principal production areas are located in the south-east states (South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria), wine grape growing and winemaking are carried out in all Australian states and territories!

Economic benefits of being water-wise in viticulture include:

  • Decreased cost of water supplied (mains water), as well as of wastewater disposal;
  • Reduced pumping needs, which will reduce annual energy costs (and greenhouse emissions); and
  • Fewer infrastructure requirements, such as the maintenance of pumping equipment and water pipes.

More benefits to being water efficient in Viticulture!

  • Improved quality of grapes
  • Improved crop yield (more grapes per area of land).
  • Improved business image and marketability of your product
  • Reduced impact of stormwater flow and the potential for erosion. This minimises damage to your property, as well as the local environment
  • Protection of local aquatic environments, by the improved quality of flows from the property
  • Preparation of the company for future drought, water restrictions or an increase in water prices
  • Minimisation of the impacts of salinity and groundwater contamination in your region.

How to use just the right amount of water in the wine industry

  • Install water meters on major plant machinery or processes. This will allow you to track water use performance, identify leaks and set targets for water reductions.
  • Consider conducting a detailed water audit to identify problem areas and prioritise solutions. Your water authority can provide advice on how to do this.
  • 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, with limited volumes of water.
  • 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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