Water use in dairies
As Victorian water supplies are becoming increasingly limited and variable, we have developed a special booklet designed to help farmers calculate their water use for each of the main processes undertaken in a dairy shed.
The booklet entitled Dairy Shed Water - How Much do You Use? also provides information from more than 1,500 farmers visited by our dairy extension staff over the past 10 years.
Information from the booklet will help farmers to:
- have a greater understanding and appreciation of the amount of water used on their farms
- identify the scope of water savings and encourage greater water use efficiency in the dairy
- provide a more accurate figure to a water corporation to update an existing licence or to apply for a new water licence; and/or
- work out the volume of water needed for purchase if the farm is in a capped catchment
Dairy shed water use statistics referred to in the booklet come from the publication Dairy Shed Water Use in Victoria 2009 Analysis previously referred to as Callinan, L. (2009). Water use in Victorian dairy sheds.
There is also an information note that provides a summary on Measuring water use in the dairy.
For information on stock water requirements, farm dams and farm water planning, go to Farm Water Solutions.
For more information about these publications please contact our Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Licences are required for dairy shed water use
In Victoria, water for commercial use is regulated by water corporations on behalf of the Minister for Water to ensure the sustainable use of the resource.
Water corporations issue licences to ensure the amount of water taken from streams, rivers, bores, dams and channels is sustainable.
Although the legislation does not currently require water taken from these sources for 'stock and domestic' use to be licensed, all other agricultural uses of water in Victoria, including water for use in dairy sheds, require a licence.
- all operating dairies require a licence to take and use water
- the volume allocated for dairy shed use in Section 51 licences must reflect actual use; and
- water used in the dairy shed will be metered in line with existing Government and water corporation policy
Program to license water used in the dairy shed
During 2010, the department ran a the Dairy Shed Water Licence Transition Program to make sure all water used in dairy sheds throughout Victoria is fully licensed.It is now expected that all water used in dairy sheds is fully licensed.
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Lower Murray Water
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Southern Rural Water
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