How much water do I need?
Farm water needs
Approximately 50% of dairy, 98% of meat and wool production, 96% of cropping, 70% of potatoes, 40% of vegetables, and significant areas of grapes and fruit crops utilise unregulated water for their production systems, including stock water, irrigation, plant wash down and production management processes.
Do you know how much water you need within your business or how to calculate the use for your enterprise?
The basic planning steps are:
- Determine the use to which the water is to be put, for example, stock, home garden, dairy shed, processing, weed spraying, irrigation, fire fighting etc.
- Determine how much water is needed for each proposed use, and in which seasons it will be needed most and what quality is needed
- Determine what options are available to provide the required supplies at the level and timing wanted.
Information on your enterprise requirements
Water quality will determine just what the water may be used for. Cool and clean water of low salt content is best for stock health and for household use. Stock will require more water where salt levels increase.
For more information read the following notes:
- Measuring the salinity of water
- Water quality for farm water supplies
- Organic pollution in farm dams: prevention and treatment
- Minimising algal growth in farm dams
- How much water do I need?
- Managing farm water supply
- Water Quality Testing Contacts
Farm water planning
Farm water planning encompasses:
- water audit to determine volume required (monthly and or annual budget)
- sources of water (amount available and quantity)
- storage period and reliability of filling
- consequences of "running out" and type of usage (eg high value crop, stock)
- contingency plan in event of failure
- risk profile (of landholder)
- impact of climate change on the water requirement (budget) and yield and reliability of water resources
The Online Farm Water Calculator can be used to carry out a farm water balance