Dollars & Sense
Farms on council-supplied water with a volume charge have the most to gain from smart water use. Overflowing stock water troughs lose a lot of water. So do leaks from water pipes. If not repaired promptly, leaks will add significantly to your water bill as shown in the example in the chart.
It's easy to lose lots of water - about 14 cubic metres a day, for example, though a hole the size of a small nail
About 20-30% of power costs on the farm are water related - pumping water into storage, down the farm, wash-down and effluent pumping. Improvements to reduce water use cut power costs which will save you money year-on-year.
Annual costs for animal health remedies are significant. If an in-line dispensing system is used for delivery, any leaks out on the farm means those remedies are not getting to your stock in the right dose. This is a cost to you in lost remedies and ultimately to the health and performance of your stock
Easy Ways to Save Water
Establish an 'alert' system. Check it regularly for signs of a problem.
Set the float in tanks at a level to avoid waste.
Guard against hot water cylinder overflows.
Turn off taps and switches after use. 'Loss-proof' the farm dairy.
Watch for troughs losing water. Fix 'em fast.
Look for leaking pipes, especially at "weak" spots.
Protect pipes that go under races or across drains.
Deal with problems immediately. Don't let repairs be delayed.
Use a water meter to check for slow leaks.
Water ... it's too precious to waste.
All that water! What’s the problem?
Looking out on large water volumes like Lake Taupo or the flowing Waikato River, it’s easy to wonder why we need to conserve water. Neither of them are about to go dry, that’s for sure. What’s important is the overall volume of water – to maintain the quality of it.
While municipal water returned to the river is treated to a high standard, water from diffuse sources remains a problem. This includes run-off in urban areas (oil on roads, for example) and from rural and forestry land. Maintaining high water levels and volumes helps dilute the contaminant load entering the water bodies and assists in maintaining water quality.
So, small efforts around home – and at work – to conserve water all add up. If we all do our part, it makes a difference.
Reasons to user water more efficiently and reduce water loss...
- Saves money
- Part of good farm management
- Helps protect the local environment
- Good for the industry and good for New Zealand.
Map it. Check it. Fix it.
Use your farm map to outline details of the farm water system. This can help you find "weak" spots - areas more prone to leaks and losses - and where improvements might be warranted.
Monitor water use to manage it
If you have a meter, read it once a week to track trends in water use. Late-night/early-morning readings could detect small leaks an alert system might miss. The overnight difference should be near zero unless there is some refilling during that time.
Prevention Pays Off
Avoid damage to vulnerable spots in water lines.
Where they go under races, place them inside a larger pipe for protection. Where lines cross streams or drains, strap them to the bottom of a pipe or post.
Find leaks. Fix 'em fast!
Having a simple 'alert' system - like a pressure gauge on the line or a pilot light on a pump - and checking it regularly is one of the best ways to reduce water loss.
Capture rainwater for double benefit
Rainwater draining onto the yard increases the volume of effluent that needs to be managed. Capturing and storing it will prevent this and provide extra water for yard wash down and for stock.