Livestock Water Use

Science Center Objects

Livestock water use is water associated with livestock watering, feedlots, dairy operations, and other on-farm needs.

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Livestock Water Use

Cows drinking water from the Platte River, Nebr.

Cows drinking water from the Platte River, Nebraska.

If you've ever flown in an airplane over a very dry location, such as the western United States, you've probably noticed that you can pick out where the rivers and streams are by looking for the green vegetation that tends to grow along the riverbanks. It is certainly true that wherever there is water, there are plants. This picture suggests that maybe livestock congregate near exposed water, too (wouldn't you if you had to stand out in a hot field all day?). Often farmers who raise cattle and other livestock construct livestock-watering ponds to accommodate the watering needs of their animals.

Water is needed to raise livestock, be it cows, chickens, horses, or rabbits. Livestock water use is water associated with livestock watering, feedlots, dairy operations, and other on-farm needs. This includes water for raising cows, chickens, horses, rabbits, fish, and pets, and also water used in the production of meats, poultry, eggs, and milk.

 

Livestock water use in the United States

Every five years, water withdrawal and use data at the county level are compiled into a national water-use data system, and state-level data are published in a national circular.

Access the most recent National, state, and county livestock data, maps, and diagrams.