Dairy shed water usage

Whether it is washing teats, cleaning the machines or hosing out yards, water plays a key role in the dairy shed.

This comprehensive guide to calculating water use in the dairy shed has been developed to help dairy farmers determine the current volume of water used in their dairy shed operations:

  • to have a greater understanding and appreciation of the amount of water that is used
  • to identify the scope for water savings and to encourage greater water use efficiency in the dairy
  • to provide this figure to your water corporation to apply to update an existing licence or to apply for a new water licence
  • to work out the volume of water you need to purchase if you are in a capped catchment.

The guide is designed to help you calculate the water used in each of the main processes undertaken in the dairy shed:

  • yard cleaning
  • milk cooling
  • activities in the pit
  • milking machine and bulk tank/vat cleaning
  • fixed cluster and platform sprays
  • other tasks.

Download the guide

Dairy shed water: How much do you use?  (PDF - 2.1 MB)
Dairy shed water: How much do you use? (WORD - 180.0 KB)

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.

This means:

  • all operating dairies require a licence to take and use water
  • the volume allocated for dairy shed use in section 51 licences must reflect your actual use
  • water used in the dairy shed must be metered in line with national metering standards and Government policy.

For up to date information on the current requirements for water licensing contact your local water corporation.

Page last updated: 13 Sep 2021