Soil water storage

Soil water storage: Increased access and tools for assessment

Project Funder: Soil CRC

Project Lead Organisation/Researcher: University of Southern Queensland, Dr Alice Melland

Project Duration: January 2022 – January 2025

Project Locations: Gunning Gap, NSW  


The aim of this project is to quantify crop water relations and impacts of systems based and physicochemical amelioration approaches that may allow increased exploration of the soil volume for resources. This project in collaboration with Soil CRC’s other project aims to better understand the competition for water and resources between mixed species cover crops and impacts on soil water availability for the cash crop. It also aims to develop a calibrated modelling approach using data collected from this project and other sources to quantify where changes to water/ resource use efficiency arise that will subsequently help grower groups and farmers to assist in improving water and resource use efficiency for higher yield.

Description and background

The intent of this project is to quantify changes in soil water attributes (infiltration, storage, drainage, and crop interaction), due to the diagnosis and management of soil constraints at existing Soil CRC field site investments. Collection of this data will allow the development of tools supporting soil management for increased access to soil water, as well as the assessment of soil water changes into the future. For each site, a crop model parameterised with direct soil water attributes will be established for relevant soil constraint management techniques during project. This will provide insights for the inclusion of management options into decision support tools for soil constraints. Long term forecasts will be developed for each site that can subsequently be validated throughout the lifetime of the Soil CRC. Through critical review and collected data, mechanisms most controlling soil water change will be identified to inform future investments. 

Reports & Media Releases


This project is a partnership between Soil CRC, University of Southern Queensland, Central West Farming Systems, Federation University, NSW DPI, Farmlink and Riverine Plains.