In our most recent blog we looked at the effect the recent heatwaves are having on the dairy industry, the dairy industry is one of our main suppliers so following on from this we are now looking at how the current water shortages will have an effect.
With the continuing rising temperatures and lack of rain, this ultimately leads to drought conditions and a lack of water supply. Hosepipe bans have been issued across the country so what does this mean for dairy farmers.
Water is vital for dairy farmers, lactating cows need between 60 and 100 litres of water per day so it is essential for farmers to have a plan in place to reduce the impact of water shortages.
Water can be supplied through various sources, while most farms have a mains water supply, a smaller percentage of farms use abstraction and boreholes. Having access to different sources can spread the risk of exposure to water shortages instead of all the pressure being on one source. Farmers should look at creating an alternative private supply through abstraction of water from wells, rivers & streams, although in certain circumstances an abstraction licence is needed. It is also worth speaking to neighbouring farms to consider sharing or trading water
Calculating the needs of daily water use is suggested, and keeping non potable water that is not suitable for human consumption separate and known for its intended use. Installing rainwater harvesting on farm buildings is also an extra source for non potable water. Farmers also need to make sure they monitor for leaks and bursts by regularly checking their water meters to limit any losses.
While farmers can only do so much in extreme circumstances, keeping these suggestions in mind will help to minimise the ramifications the water shortages can have.
It’s not just dairy farmers that will be affected through our current water shortage, many industries rely on water for production. The top three industries for water usage are Agriculture; food products and hotels and restaurants. [source] A huge 70% of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture. In Europe, this sector requires 44% of freshwater resources. This is due to agriculture’s water use for irrigation, fertiliser and pesticide application, crop cooling, and frost control.
Throughout heatwaves and droughts we continue to supply our customers in the best way possible and if you have any needs to discuss please contact us on 01623 424442 or firstname.lastname@example.org