How can I more efficiently use my farm water?
Implementing reticulated water within a grazing system can be effective in improving water quality and animal performance.
Water reticulation systems (ie pumps, pipes, supply tanks, and troughs) should take into account peak daily requirements (particularly for stock drinking and irrigation), and be planned and/or sized accordingly.
- Water supply for stock containment areas
- Looking after your water bore - Groundwater News and Information
Minimising system losses
Any exposed body of water will lose a considerable quantity of water over the year through evaporation.
Evaporation is often the biggest consumer of water from a dam. It must be allowed for when choosing dam size. Evaporation depends on temperature, humidity, wind, the surface area of water and orientation of the dam. Hot, dry, windy days will cause greater water loss than cold still days. Similarly, evaporation is usually much lower in the winter than that experienced during the summer.
The most effective method of evaporation control is to minimise the surface area of volume of water stored.
The following provide useful information.
- Cooperative Research Centre for Irrigation Futures - Dam Evaporation Mitigation
- Drought reserve dams
- Reducing farm dam evaporation - Department of Water, Government of Western Australia
- Using windbreaks to reduce evaporation from farm dams; Reducing Farm Dam Evaporation - Department of Agriculture, Government of Western Australia
Reuse and recycling
Reclaimed water is a potentially valuable resource for the agricultural sector. Properly used, reclaimed water protects the environment, public and animal health and food safety, and may also have advantages over the use of potentially limited or costly traditional primary water sources in terms of reliability of supply and price.
See section 3 in Dairy shed water – how much do you use?