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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

Water Storage in Trying Times

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Water pumping capabilities are becoming more important than ever in Australia as water scarcity becomes an ever present issue. Despite the La Niña effect currently boosting Australian rainfall - and leading to more monsoonal conditions - as temperatures warm across the country thanks to the ever present threat of climate change, evaporation will lead to worsening drought conditions.

Drought conditions in recent years in Australia have led to significant decreases in herd populations across Australia. Australia is the second largest beef exporter in the world, and the beef industry alone is worth upward of $20 billion dollars to the national economy, meaning this issue is hugely important to the nation.

The effects of low water supply on the cattle industry has highlighted the importance of reliable water pumping, water storage and water harvesting facilities. Farms all across Australia have felt the crunch in recent years, as drought or low rainfall conditions have continued to worsen.

The Bureau of Meteorology reports that much of Australia has suffered multi-year rainfall deficiencies since 2017, which in part led to the conditions that allowed for the 2019/20 bushfires. Though they do acknowledge that rainfall in 2021 has seen improvement in many areas, persistent, widespread above average rainfall would be needed to provide relief from the impacts of long term drought or low rainfall.

Preventing Evaporation of Water Sources

In Australia there are over 2 million dams scattered across the countryside, which, when at their peak, hold a remarkable 8000 gigalitres (that’s eight trillion litres) of water. However water stored in dams is prone to evaporation, and these dams can lose more than 50% of their stored water in the drier months, greatly depleting water stocks.

There are a few ways to protect your access to a reliable water source, and installing a windmill can greatly assist with your water harvesting efforts.

Pumping the water from the dam into one or multiple tanks can ensure that there is less evaporation, and while the tank still may dry out quicker, you will ensure reliable access to stored water the year round.

Another option would be to install a bore or well, and pump water from an aquifer deep below the ground. Aquifers, like dams, are a finite resource, but don’t face the pressures that dams do in respect to evaporation and animals.

A Southern Cross Windmill would be able to assist with both of these effectiveness boosting practices, serving to pump water into a tank or trough from deep below the ground, or into a covered tank from a dam in order to protect it from the elements.

Australian Windmills

What Australians (and some other nations) affectionately refer to as a Windmill, is in reality more of a wind pump, as it does no service milling grain or sugar. However, the humble windmill has, over the last hundred and fifty years, staked its claim to the heart of Australian rural living.

For well over a century, Australians have used windmills to pump water from dams into watering troughs or water tanks, or from aquifers deep below the ground, with no fuel required. The ability to pump fuel day or night with just a light breeze has been key to making windmills so accessible and effective.

When rainfall is at its best, using a windmill to pump water from dams – especially overflowing dams – into water storage tanks, can help greatly increase how far you can stretch your annual rainfall. If you do have a dam that overflows in the wetter months, this will increase your total water storage, if not, you will help prevent your water from evaporation.

Maximising Your Water Security

Most rural Australian homes have a water tank that catches water off of the roof of the house, but many ignore the many sheds on their property, missing out on precious gallons of water that can help give peace of mind during the drier months or periods of drought.

Ensuring that all large surfaces that can catch water are doing so and linked to a water storage tank can go a long way to ensuring your water security.

Especially during years such as the current year, where more promising rainfall is being experienced, it is crucial to maximise water harvesting efforts to provide water security into the future.

Southern Cross Water

In 1876, the first windmills rolled off of the factory line at the Toowoomba Foundry, and revolutionised rural living in Australia for decades to come. With these automated steel giants, pastoralists and farmers were able to move further inland where water had previously been too scarce to run cattle or sheep or grow crops.

These farmers founded thousands of towns across the country, connecting cities, and boosting the nation’s agricultural economic output well into the future.

The Griffiths Brothers, who were producing these first windmills in Toowoomba soon after started selling these windmills under the name Southern Cross, and moved into the design and manufacture of other water based appliances, including pumps, water tanks, tank stands and more.

Today, Southern Cross Water manufactures windmills and water tanks that can still be found all across the country. These icons of Australian rural living are still Australian made, with the windmills being manufactured in Withcott, and the water tanks in Murarrie. And what’s better, is that Southern Cross Water has returned to Australian hands, with a deal going through in 2019 to return the company to Aussie ownership once more.

Learn More Today

If you’re eager to learn more about how a Southern Cross Windmill or Southern Cross Water Tank could help you and your property, talk to one of our experts today.

Southern Cross provides a range of water storage and water harvesting equipment for people and businesses all across Australia, helping countless Australian families have reliable access to water for themselves and for their livestock.

For more information, or for a quote, call Southern Cross Water Tanks on (07) 3441 5600 or Southern Cross Windmills on (07) 4612 7202 today.

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