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Agriculture is a big industry. Equally as big, is the use of resources by this industry to produce food. One resource that plays an important role in agribusinesses is water.

The recent droughts have really placed a spotlight on the water scarcity challenge.

In their 2000 Water Accounts for South Africa, Stats SA reported a whopping 63% of the country’s available surface water being extracted for agricultural irrigation. Water use in agriculture is unavoidable, but where possible it can be reduced.

To have maximum impact on water saving, all users should play their part. This said, the greatest impact on water use comes from agriculture. This is therefore where we can make the biggest difference.

Water saving is part of Trace & Save’s holistic sustainable farm management system. We encourage our farmers to keep their water use efficiency (WUE) as low as possible.

The WUE calculates how many litres of water it takes to produce one litre of milk. We calculate the WUE of each farm on a yearly basis. We use this to advise farmers on how to use water more sparingly. Some of these practices include:

  • Irrigating pastures with the optimal amount of water at the optimal time. This maximises the benefit of irrigation.
  • Recycling water used to clean the dairy by irrigating it back onto the pastures.
  • Detecting leaks early and fixing them.

You can join our farmers in fighting the good fight for water. One way is to support products where farmers implement sustainable practices (Read blog: Support your local farmers). Another is to implement some of the practices they do to save water (as seen above) in your own home.