Managing farm water for livestock

Make the most of advice available from local Department staff on how to best manage your farm water supplies for livestock, recommends Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority Land Health Manager Rhiannon Apted.

“Over the past 12 months opportunities to capture water in dams and tanks for stock and farm water supplies
have been limited in many parts of the catchment due to low or no run-off,” Ms Apted said.

“It is important to know the amount water you have in your reserves, taking into consideration demand over
summer for water for livestock as running out of water can mean carting water in or destocking.”

Water quality is another important consideration.

“Poor water quality, such as water from the bottom of dams, can restrict the productivity and development of
different classes of stock.”

Workshops, farm water calculators and technical notes are available to help landholders to assess water needs
and evaluate water reserves.

“Recently, local Landcare and Department of Economic Development staff have been running on-farm
workshops around water planning and management,” she said.

“Farmers at these workshops have been surprised at the amount of water that can evaporate from dams in a
day, as well as the number of litres livestock will consume on hot days.”

In summer dry sheep will consume, on average, 10 litres a day, cattle 98 litres a day and weaners up to 300kg
can consume 70 litres a day.

If you would like more information on assessing and planning your water management, visit the Victorian
Government’s Agriculture website at and search under the Drought and
Farm Management headings or contact the Goulburn Broken CMA on 5797 4400. Meat and Livestock Australia
also have very useful tips and advice on their website, visit and search for ‘tips for a tough

A near empty farm dam