1622WQ: a web-based application to increase farmer awareness of the impact of agriculture on water quality

Vilas, Maria P., Thorburn, Peter J., Fielke, Simon, Webster, Tony, Mooij, Martijn, Biggs, Jody S., Zhang, Yi-Fan, Adham, Adam, Davis, Aaron, Dungan, Bertrand, Butler, Roger, and Fitch, Peter (2020) 1622WQ: a web-based application to increase farmer awareness of the impact of agriculture on water quality. Environmental Modelling and Software, 132. 104816.

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Abstract

Intensive agricultural practices represent a major threat to aquatic ecosystems because they impair water quality. However, this can be ameliorated by farmers improving crop management provided they are aware of their contribution to declining water quality. Water quality information systems can increase farmer awareness, but most were developed to assess water quality targets set in regulations rather than inform farmers. We developed the 1622WQ application using user-centred design principles to provide farmers with real-time information on nitrate and other contextual variables in their local creeks and rivers. The design process identified barriers to uptake of the application such as: (a) limited internet connection; (b) poor data quality; and (c) operational issues. Once these barriers were addressed, there was substantial uptake. Nevertheless, providing real-time information to farmers is only part of the solution due to legacy issues caused by a digital divide between traditional industries and those that are digitally enabled.

Item ID: 64665
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1364-8152
Keywords: Participatory water quality monitoring, Great barrier reef, Nitrogen, Sugarcane, Pollution, Human-centred design
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: CSIRO
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2020 07:34
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300210 Sustainable agricultural development @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410504 Surface water quality processes and contaminated sediment assessment @ 50%
SEO Codes: 22 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 2204 Information systems, technologies and services > 220408 Information systems @ 100%
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