What if it doesn't rain soon?

Managing farm water supplies is a challenge. Good planning helps manage the risk associated with running out of water.

These are steps to take and resources to use if you are concerned about when it will rain next and the possibility of running out of water:

  1. Audit and map your remaining water supplies.
  2. Recalculate your water needs, work through how much water do I need?, water supply options for rural lifestyle properties.
  3. Check water quality requirements, water quality for farm water suppliesstock perform better when drinking from troughs.
  4. Be judicious in decreasing your current water use, read other farmers' stories.
  5. Check and recheck your figures.
  6. Predict likely losses of water.
  7. Reconcile the supply and demand figures and estimate a 'crunch time' using the Online Farm Water Calculator or the Summer Water Calculator.
  8. Work to delay the crunch time. Chase options to reduce water loss. Invest in ways of improving the efficiency of use of your water. Protect your water supply from damage (prevent the inflow of sediment, organic matter or ash; keep stock out of storage, avoid salt concentration). Allocate water to stock in safe and stable areas. Reuse water wherever possible. Monitor, observe, review and adjust. Plan to manage any potential capture from rain that does fall.
  9. Take one step at a time. Look for opportunities. But, be very wary of 'magic bullets'.
  10. Take the opportunity — when the dry eases — to use your accumulated knowledge to work with other knowledgeable people to build a water plan for the property. Read Managing farm water supply.
Page last updated: 16 Oct 2023