Abstract

This paper aims to (i) quantify water use during the milk production process in a farm in southern Brazil, (ii) propose measures to reduce it, and (iii) elaborate and subsequently implement educational and structural measures promoting water-use efficiency and final disposal of the manure produced. The research was conducted during 6 months and it was divided into three field stages. The first stage identified and quantified the multiple uses of water during milk production, using water meters. In the second stage, reduction measures were implemented to reduce the water use. Finally, in the third stage, a series of educational and structural measures were elaborated with the validated measures. The average water disappearance (intake + waste) measured was 98 L·cow−1·d−1, decreasing to 83 L·cow−1·d−1 and 91 L·cow−1·d−1 at the second and third stages, respectively. The modification of the cleaning and disinfection process was the most efficient measure, saving 8.5 litres per day. The potential saving of all the measures combined was 17 L·cow−1·d−1. Seeking to increase even more the water economy, the resulting series of recommended measures covered the whole cycle of water disappearance in the milking process.

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