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Trace & Save water researcher working on the Woodlands Dairy Sustainability Project
Author: Manuel Jackon
Published: 13/09/2018

​​​​​General responsibilities

  1. ​Apply the Trace & Save system of sustainable agriculture, which uses the SWAN (soil, water, atmosphere and nutrients) system, biodiversity conservation; and people and animal welfare to measure and assess sustainability on farms.
  2. Collect data, analyze and interpret various sustainability indicators on dairy farms, using the Trace & Save system.
  3. Provide feedback on sustainability indicators and assist farmers to continually improve their sustainability strategy.
  4. Communicate, using various platforms (social media, blogs, popular articles, presentations), to farmers and other interested parties about sustainable agriculture and the benefits of adopting sustainable practices.
  5. Communicate, using various platforms (social media, blogs), to consumers of dairy products the importance and relevance of sustainable agriculture.

Water specific responsibilities

  1. Continual research and development of water efficiency indices for farmer water usage.
  2. Develop a water footprint for farmers.
  3. Find creative ways to record and measure water usage on farms.
  4. Research the importance of soil quality on water irrigation efficiency and overall effect on the environment.
  5. Learn and improve knowledge on water irrigation scheduling through research, studying and courses.
  6. Test water quality (both irrigation and drinking water) and evaluate effect on the environment, irrigation efficiency and animal health.
  7. Test effluent water, farmer efficiency of usage, effect on GHG emissions and pollution of water sources.
  8. Become an expert on water usage, irrigation laws and regulations.
  9. Become an expert on effluent laws and regulations.
  10. Understand and research the effect of water quality, dairy effluent, and nutrients brought onto farm, on groundwater and streams. And role soil quality/health, plays in this.
  11. Further your studies to become a scientist showing the connection between soil hydrology, soil health/texture/structure, and water efficiency. As well as effect on environment.
  12. Lead the sustainability team in all water related research, and keep the team informed/knowledgeable and up to date with all water aspects.

Education and core skills required

Honors/Master's degree in soil science and/or agronomy and/or environmental science, with a preferred focus in water usage and/or hydrology.​