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Monitoring and managing aquatic weeds in irrigation channels - Remote Sensing


Project Description

Background:
Aquatic weed management is a major issue for many irrigation companies throughout Australia and across the globe. Increasing on-farm water use efficiencies has seen the demand for high water flow delivery capacities increase and hence the need to more activity control aquatic weeds which cause major flow impediments in irrigation delivery networks. The project is linking with one of Australia’s largest suppliers of irrigation water – Murrumbidgee Irrigation. Delivering irrigation water efficiently is critical to the future sustainability of the planet and is an issue currently being experienced across the world as competition for fresh water resources increases. Rising population will see increased demand for food production and hence irrigation demand will increase. This PhD study will be one of the first to look at remote sensing techniques linked with active management to manage these irrigation delivery constraints, which could be applied further nationally or internationally.
Use of a range of remote sensing (Drone + Satellite) techniques and proximal sensors would be used to develop monitoring systems that allow earlier identification of flow constraints. Knowledge of aquatic weeds and management in irrigation systems is in its infancy and this research would contribute much needed knowledge to the area.

Objective:
This project aims to develop monitoring and control options for aquatic weeds in semi-arid irrigation areas. This will involve the development of remote sensing techniques for identifying and monitoring aquatic weed “hotspots”. Management options will also be investigated for controlling these weeds using a range of chemicals and management practices to reduce impacts on irrigation flow rate deliveries.
Initially, the student will look at RS technologies for monitoring aquatic weeds and develop a greater understanding of the phenology of the most impacting weed species. This information will then be used to work with an industry partner (Murrumbidgee Irrigation) to develop and monitor a range of field trials to develop treatment or management options which can be used to control weeds within the irrigation delivery network.

Location: The PhD is offered by Deakin University’s Centre for Regional and Rural Futures, Irrigation Research Group located in Griffith, NSW, Australia See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUEFnXS_j8c

Funding Notes

Scholarship is offered for a 3 year duration at $30000AUD per year tax free. Additionally, a $5000 AUD per year accommodation allowance and a one off relocation payment of $1500AUD is offered. Scholarship offered until filled by candidate so apply asap.

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