Former Ghost returns to water home ground
WATER conservation is a key driver for David Blomfield, who started his working life as a plumber in Grafton and has now returned to the region as the irrigation and project manager for Costa's berry farm at Corindi.
Mr Blomfield grew up at Red Rock, went to school at South Grafton and worked as a plumber before heading to Sydney to do a civil engineering degree. The former Grafton Ghosts player also played rugby league for Western Suburbs Magpies.
After completing his degree, he moved to Griffith where he ran an irrigation business for 20 years.
"Water conservation is one of the biggest things I work on,” he said. "Technology has a big part to play and there are lots of improvements we can make.
"Irrigation scheduling has gone from the days when we used a manual ceramic tip in the soil to now where we have electronic beams that can tell us how moist the soil is.”
Before moving back to the Mid North Coast, he worked on a water conservation project on the Murray-Darling Basin, installing 5000 metering gates for water control and 3000 in-channel gates for maintaining water levels.
He has also worked with wine grapes, citrus, prunes, to almonds and olives, with a key focus on developing new ways to improve water and energy efficiency.
"My last design project was 800 hectares of wine grapes and we were able to halve the energy needed for pumping through the use of low-flow close spacing dripline.”
"My aim is also to train people up and teach them the theory of irrigation. The more knowledge that is shared, the better off we all are.”
In his spare time outside of work, Mr Blomfield is planning to develop a large-scale solar farm.
"The solar farm will be capable of supplying 25,000 homes with power and the water collected on site will be reused in greenhouses,” he said.