Agriculture is a big industry. Equally as big, is the use of resources by the agricultural industry in order to produce food. One resource that plays an important role in production across the board for different agribusinesses is water. If the recent droughts are anything to go by, the water scarcity challenge is demanding that we all act before water restrictions become an everyday reality.
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 decreased. If we are to have maximum impact on saving water, all water users should play their part in saving water, but the greatest impact comes from involving the role players in agriculture.
As part of the holistic sustainable farm management system, our sustainability project encourages our farmers to produce milk while keeping their water use efficiency (WUE) as low as possible always. 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, advising accordingly on how to use water more sparingly, which includes:
- Irrigating pasture grasses only when, and with the minimal amount of water needed
- Recycling water used to clean the dairy by irrigating it back onto the pasture grasses
- Detecting leaks early and fixing them
You can join our farmers in fighting the good fight for water by not only buying their sustainably produced products (Read blog: Support your local farmers) but by also implementing some of the practices they do to save water (as seen above) in your own home.