Pilot project taps into new digital water trading opportunities for FNQ irrigators

13 May 2020

A new pilot research project promises to be a game-changer for Far North Queensland irrigators, allowing them to tap into a new water market and trading platform using the latest digital blockchain technology.

The latest Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) collaboration sees blockchain and digital technology experts Civic Ledger working with researchers and industry representatives from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy, SunWater, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) Blockchain Innovation Hub, Griffith University and FNQ Growers to deliver the "Improving water markets and trading through new digital technologies" pilot research project over the next six months.

The CRCNA's CEO Jed Matz said the pilot research project would involve the participation of irrigators across the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland in a demonstration of digital blockchain technology.

"The project team will work with stakeholders including irrigators to help them understand how blockchain and smart contracts work and how they may help them save money and improve their decision-making by allowing them to access near-real-time water trading information.

"We hope through accessing and using the technology platform, irrigators will provide feedback to help improve the technology and the adoption of Civic Ledger's Water Ledger platform," he said.

Katrina Donaghy, CEO and Co-founder of Civic Ledger, thanked the CRCNA for its vision and support for the pilot research project.

"We are very grateful to the CRCNA for supporting this important and timely work as we are seeing growing concerns with water scarcity and the need for transparency on how scarce water is managed, not only in Australia but around the world.

Ms Donaghy said that Civic Ledger hoped the pilot research project will bring the company a step closer to the formation of a public register which holds all water trading data in one place to build public confidence and enhance transparency across the industry.

"The Water Ledger platform will completely transform the way irrigators trade temporary water allocations. A catalyst to driving innovation across water markets is to remove unnecessary complexities in how water allocations are traded. This means simplifying the process and providing greater clarity to stakeholders," said Ms Donaghy.

“The pilot project will also provide essential data to inform trading optimisation for the growing Northern Australia agriculture industry as a whole.

"This data will offer valuable feedback for further development of the water trading platform so it can be rolled out to more water supply schemes simplifying the operating rules based on local conditions.”

Published on CRC for Developing Northern Australia's Website