Research being undertaken by the Central Queensland University (CQU) is using volcanic rocks to make salty and brackish water a viable source of water for for irrigators.


Using volcanic rocks, researchers from the CQU have used the system at Teys Australia’s Murgon hide processing plant.


The plant currently processes in excess of 10,000 hides a week, and generates over 150,000 litres of waste water, which is high in salt and normally unusable as a source of irrigation. Some of which has been processed by a local desalination plant to be used, but the process has proven inefficient and costly.


However, thanks to the research being undertaken by Ben Kele and his team, the use of the volcanic system is proving to be cost-effective and efficient.


"A lot of rural producers will, when they see their soil getting impacted by sodium, go through and add gypsum," Mr Kele told ABC News.


We have to add less gypsum to get the same bang for the buck, so there's not just environmental sustainability, there is economical sustainability as well."