Drought planning saves water and money
Although there is currently no risk to public water supply in Wales, there is concern that a shortage of water in Welsh rivers could harm wildlife and the wider environment if the dry weather continues over the spring and early summer.
Now is the time to consider how much water you use across the farm. Dairy farms use tens of thousands of litres of water every day – so any saving will increase profit margins as well as keep more water in rivers and lakes.
Here’s some water saving measures for you to consider:
- Consider some simple options to save water, like triggers on hoses, fixing dripping taps and leaks. Just a 3mm stream of water from a leaking tap can waste nearly 1,000 litres per day.
- Taking a meter reading late in the evening, and checking again early in the morning allows you to see if there are any leaks around the farm.
- If you farm over a large area with water consumption over 20,000 litres per day, you may benefit from having a water monitor installed. This will allow you to have a full assessment of water use across the farm, and enable you to identify where you may be able to save water.
- You should consider storing water from your yard roofs. There are an array of second hand and new storage tanks out there. If possible try and store 1% of your annual use. If you use about 10,000 litres per day (2,200 gallons), this equates to storage of 36,000 litres. A new 20,000 litre tank costs about £2,500, whilst a new 6,000 litre tank costs about £650.
Harvesting rainwater can be simple, cost effective and bring other benefits to your business.
Keeping this rainwater out of slurry stores can give you a more concentrated fertiliser and less volume to manage – meaning you are in control of when you can apply your slurry to maximise the benefits and minimise the risk of pollution.
Making sure your guttering is in good working order will keep this rainwater from the dirty areas of the farm and out of the dirty water tank. Less dirty water to dispose will again save you more money.
Building a rainwater harvesting system does sound costly, but they can pay for themselves
within a year.