Livestock Water Use

The Agriculture Water Demand Model calculates an estimated livestock water demand using agricultural census data and an estimate of the water use per animal. Water use for each animal type is calculated a bit differently depending on requirements.

For example, for a dairy milking cow, the water demand for each animal includes, drinking, preparation for milking, pen and barn cleaning, milking system washout, bulk tank washout and milking parlor washing. However, for a dry dairy cow, the demand only includes drinking and pen and barn cleaning.

The water use is estimated on a daily basis per animal even though the facility is not cleaned daily.  For example, for a broiler operation, the water use for cleaning a barn is calculated as 4 hours of pressure washing per cycle at a 10 gpm flow rate, multiplied by 6 cycles per barn with each barn holding 50,000 birds. On a daily basis, this is quite small with a value of 0.01 litres per day per bird applied.

For all cases, the daily livestock demand is applied to the farm location. However, in the case of beef, the livestock spend quite a bit of the year on the range. Since the actual location of the animals cannot be ascertained, the water demand is applied to the home farm location, even though most of the demand will not be from this location. Therefore, the animal water demand on a watershed scale will work fine but not when the demand is segregated into sub-watersheds or groundwater areas.

Table 1

The estimates used for each livestock are shown in Table 1.
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