Water access issues pose threat to Australian banana growers

Banana growers in Western Australia are struggling to keep their produce in good health due to a mixture of excessive temperatures and a lack of a sustainable water source.

The coastal town of Carnarvon in particular has been badly affected, as the increasingly hot summer saw the mercury hit 40 degrees Celsius at the start of January. 

Limited water access

Following a relatively mild spring, summer has hit growers hard and the subsequent damage to crops is likely to limit overall output. Any issues with the heat are also being compounded by the fact that the region is struggling to implement widespread access to water.

"It's always difficult, we've had to cut back on our [growing] area and make sure we can water what we've got," explained Carnarvon banana grower Bruce Monro in an interview with ABC News.

The issues with the water aren't limited to the fact that the supply is finite – the salinity values are also high which make it increasingly difficult to enable sustained crop growth.

High salinity values

"Bananas don't like anything much above 600 parts per million, [but] my bore's up over 700 [ppm]," Mr Monro went on to explain.

Tackling the issues regarding water supply in the Australian banana industry is important as it plays a big role within the wider agriculture sector. For example – according to statistics from the Australian Banana Growers Council – the industry injects around $600 million per year into the economy.

The total area of land that banana crops take up across Australia is in the region of 14,000 hectares, and providing all of that with a sufficient water supply will always be tough. However, using a Hydrosmart water conditioner can help streamline the whole process.

Getting the best out of bore water is absolutely critical when supply is limited. Hydrosmart technology uses resonant frequencies to turn water with high salinity into a nutrient-rich supply that's perfect for supporting crop growth.