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Abstract

An assessment of the economic, environmental and social impacts of extension activities by NSW Agriculture related to water use efficiency is reported. The main vehicle for these extension activities has been a four day vocational course delivered to about 4,400 irrigators under the auspices of the WaterWise on the Farm Initiative (WWF). We focused on four industry/regional complexes - the cotton industry in northern NSW, the lucerne industry in central and northern NSW, the cherry industry and the viticulture industry in southern NSW - where WWF was known to have had an impact. Generally the impact of WWF was to advance the adoption of water use efficient technologies by several years. The investment by NSW Agriculture in year 2002 dollars is likely to be about $19.8m and the benefit-cost ratio is estimated to be 4.5:1

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