Supply and consumption of water for watering cows

How to get water for your animals? Do you know how much it costs you? Based on the irrigation guide produced by GDS, we take stock of the various sources.

water it is the number one feed for farm animals. Where does the food your herd consume come from? The question was asked recently Dairy producers site. Of the 354 respondents, 59% have a well or a well, 38% are on the drinking water network and 3% recover rainwater [NDLR : sondage publié le 12/01/22, résultats collectés le 17/01/22 et donnés à titre indicatif car l’échantillon n’a pas été redressé].

today, water source it’s a real issue. We hear a lot about it on the side of arable crops with the baking pan debate. But even in breeding, it will eventually be necessary to find adaptations… GDS de Bourgogne Franche Comté published in 2022 irrigation guide to help farmers reduce their dependence on drinking water networks.

Drinking water: high cost

A cow can consume more than 100 liters of water per day and at a flow rate (10 to 20 liters per minute). Do the math with the number of cows in your herd and a price of €4.20/m3 of water (average price charged in 2019): costs rise quickly if you consume mains water

The consumption of water from the network for watering animals has the advantage of ensuring its quality. But the opposite, two disadvantages: cost and competition. There is still not much talk about conflict between users, but with climate change, water resources may become scarce. Indeed, as temperatures rise, the drying of the soil increases from year to year.

Livestock advisers who contributed to the drafting of irrigation guide have listed other ways of supply:

Extraction from wells, wells, springs and rivers

A boring, is expensive to undertake, but quickly pays for itself in terms of water bills. The advantage of deep sampling is based on water quality. The flow will also be quite stable if the job is successful and its use will require little maintenance afterwards.

Regarding water flow, they should only be used as a last resort (for example in a pasture where there is no other option for irrigation), even if you own it. In this case, it will be necessary to consult with the water police to know the procedure to be followed and the development to be carried out.

Rainwater harvesting

With the increase in annual rainfall, rain water coming from the exploitation roofs can become an interesting resource to preserve. However, pay attention to the quality! Indeed, used for irrigation, this water must be filtered and treated (and checked regularly).

Standing water (pools and ponds)

As with a stream of water, access to ponds and ponds from animals requires an endowed lineage. A regulatory framework also applies (depending on the surface of the water body, its location, supply methods, etc.). And of course: pay attention to quality (very high risk of bacteriological contamination)!

Drought and lack of water

During the episodes of strong heat, the animals will consume even more water than usual, which will bring additional costs to the farmers connected to the network. In case DROUGHTthe latter are also invited to mobilize as much as possible another source to “save the resources used by drinking water services, to delay or reduce the supply of municipalities with tankers which brings significant costs”.

Those who consume reclaimed water or abstract groundwater may face water shortages. And in this case there is no other choice but to connect to the network… Has this ever happened to you? Share your experience in the comments!

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