Increasing water scarcity and simultaneously growing demands for food and feed challenge agricultural production. Globally livestock feed sourcing is one of the major causes for water depletion; therefore, increasing livestock water use efficiency (LWUE) is necessary. There is a need to synthesise LWUE knowledge generated across different forage based livestock production systems (FLPS) over time and systematically identify entry points to enhance productive uses of freshwater resources. Although these systems vary by their degree of intensification, scale of water-related problems, and therefore in their values of LWUE, a number of common entry points to increase LWUE can be identified. To understand the pattern of livestock water use and social dynamics involved in water use and milk production, around 240 small and medium dairy farms in Karnataka, India, were used for the present study. Direct and indirect consumptive uses of water by animals considered were water used for drinking, water inputs through green and dry fodder, consumptive water usage for on-farm servicing and crop irrigation and water inputs through all upstream inputs such as medicines, vaccines and others. Water use efficiency (WUE) for production of milk alone is operationally defined in this study.
Part of the book: Livestock Health and Farming