Saving water in dairies

Hosing the holding yard

Under dry seasonal or drought conditions around Australia, many farmers are looking at options to reduce their water consumption in the dairy. For many this is a direct result of reduced access to water, for others it is an attempt to ensure water supplies are maintained for as long as possible.

In 2000, a survey of dairy farmers found the most efficient dairy sheds used under 2,000 litres of water per cow each year. At the other end of the scale, the most water used was 38,000 litres per cow each year – almost 20 times more than the best performers. The average was 9,600 litres per cow each year.

This large variation in water use in dairies indicates that there are opportunities to save water and costs on many farms. For example, re-using dairy water offers large benefits, such as recycling yard wash water or plate cooler water.  For more info, see below...

Water Saving Topics

Dairy farmers have identified many strategies to save water and the dairy industry learning packages also contain useful information. Details about many of these options to save water have been assembled in information sheets under the following headings.