Abstract

This paper aims to (i) quantify the water use during the milk production process in a farm in southern Brazil, (ii) propose measures to reduce it, and (iii) elaborate and subsequent implement educational and structural measures promoting the water use effficiency and final disposal of manure produced. The research was conducted during 6 months and it was divided in 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 serie of educational and structural measures were elaborated with the validated measures. The average water disappearance (intake + waste) measured was of 98 L cow−1 d−1, decreasing to 83 L·cow−1d−1 and 91 L·cow−1d−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 of 17 L cow−1 d−1. Seeking to increase even more the water economy, the resulting serie of recommended measures covered the whole cycle of water disappearance in the milking process.

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