Yesterday as I walked about in the heat with my hose making sure animals had water to stand in and cold water in their troughs I began to wonder about how much water I was using. How much water is needed to run a sustainable, organic farmy.
So I did a little research.
Daisy (milking dairy cow) will consume between 30 and 40 gallons of water a day. It takes 4 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of milk. She produces over 7 gallons a day.
Queenie (beef heifer) will drink 15 – 20 gallons a day. The steer will drink the same. It takes 3 gallons of water to produce one hamburger pattie. Though pound by pound chicken takes massively less water than beef. Hmm. The chickens will drink about a pint each a day.
.Why is there a lamb on my verandah again! She was given a bottle of water and sent back to her flock.
All our animals are on green grass so they need less water than a dry feedlot animal. An animal on a dry diet on a hot day needs more. But already we are using a lot of water.
But how about this! It takes 518 gallons of water to make each tire for your car whether it is an electric car or not. I am not even going to tell you how many gallons it takes to make a whole car, it is astronomical.
It takes 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton for your jeans. So wear them until they are worn out!
The plastic bottle containing your bottled water takes 1 1/2 gallons of water to make. Thankfully you and I do not buy bottled water, we filter it ourselves. But how much water and oil was needed to make the filtering jug. And the filter! Now don’t start me on oil.. back to water.
.A hive of bees will drink about a quart of water a day. By yesterday afternoon this dripping tap was heaving with bees. Cooling the hive was a priority for them yesterday.
But what about a pound of organic lettuce? 23 gallons of water. This includes the growing and the processing.
2847 gallons for a pound of chocolate.. oh dear.. well I never much liked chocolate anyway. Though this figure seemed inflated so I checked it with three different sources. And it seems right. The cocoa bean must be a thirsty plant.
Now for the kicker: 2, 100 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol. Though around here corn is not irrigated. But many many corn and soy crops are irrigated across the country.
What about an apple? Or a head of brocolli. Oh dear.
As I write this I have already turned the morning sprinkler on in the vege garden. So it waters before the sun comes up to evaporate most of it. Two gardens are watered each day. They are on a four day rotation to encourage deep roots. But I have found estimates of 240 gallons – 600 gallons per hour using a sprinkler. We use well water. Good cold water from deep in the earth.
I guess I have some work to do as to conserving water on the farmy.
That is what happens when it is too hot to work outside. I get to depress myself with numbers. However you know how I feel. The world wide water shortage problem is too big for me. So I shall work on my small solveable problems. By growing my own and working hard to use less water. We can only do what we can do. That is a stupid sentence but it is true.
Still. It takes a lot of water to keep a cow.
Good morning. It was hot yesterday but there was a breeze and it only reached 100. I discovered (now that we have discussed how much water I am wasting,) that if I weed in the spray of the sprinkler I can work for longer and the weeds come out easier!! Bad water girl!
I opened the barn for all the animals to come and go but they scorned the barn and stood under the trees instead. Of course the sheep were allowed to go into their root cellar and were not seen all day. All except Minty of course. So that was a lesson learned and the big barn doors are closed again to keep it cool in there for the baby animals.
Today is dawning dreadfully hot. Humid and still. It might rain. But then again it may not. So no holding our breaths!
Have a good day.
ps A gallon equals = 3.78 litres.