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Water, a global issue

Over the years and with the development of human activities, water has become a global issue reinforced by the effects of climate changes. Freshwater is not an unlimited resource and its use by the industrial and agri-food sectors is intensive. In the field of animal breeding, water consumption is generally not well known because it varies according to the types of livestock and the geographical location of farms. It should also be noted that the distribution of water use in animal husbandry (watering, washing, air purification, cooling) is not universally defined. 

Water and hogs

In most cases the water used for hogs comes from wells or boreholes. The physical properties of water are usually not very important in hog production. Pigs are quite tolerant of unusual colors and tastes, unless these are really very pronounced. Estimating the quantities required is not straightforward because not all farms are equipped with meters to quantify the amount of water required.

At birth, water accounts for 82% of the pig’s weight. When the pig weighs 240 pounds, water represents only 51% of its weight. Pigs consume most of their water by drinking. However, part of the water is ingested through the food and the metabolism also generates water. Pigs lose body water through urine, feces, breathing and skin. The most important part of water loss is in the form of urine and feces (the main fraction of manure). The amount of water consumed is variable depending on factors such as temperature, diet, frequency of food supply, and farm breeding conditions.

The main water use watering. Depending on the circumstances, a pig will drink between 10 and 26 times a day. In fact, more than 93% of the water consumption of a breeder-finisher farm is for watering. The average daily consumption per sow is estimated to be around 24 litres, with a possible variation of around 5 litres. Some equipment can be used to save drinking water.

– The hopper drinker, an equipment which integrates separately the supply at will (on request) of water and feed for one or more animals;

– The water-saving bowl, a kind of individual and independent trough in which the animal pours water by pressing on a special organ.

The second item in terms of water use is the washing of livestock buildings. Cleaning, linked to disinfection operations, involves large quantities of water. These cleaning operations are important for :

– Elimination of pathogenic germs,

– Elimination of infection cycles via pig to pig, carrier to carrier and carrier to pig,

 – Elimination of germs transmission in general,

– Elimination  of infectious agents.

The other water consumption types in a pigsty are; water used for air purification and cooling (cooling or misting method).Very few farms are equipped with air purification systems. According to the calculations carried out and although many parameters influence consumption, the average consumption would be between 1.7 and 2 litres per pig per day, while some data originating from  France show a daily requirement of between 1.1 and 2 litres of water for air cooling systems.   

 Water Conservation

Water conservation is important in any industry and swine production makes no exception. Many water conservation technologies and practices are currently used in swine production, but not universally. Given that most of the water requirement comes from watering, emphasis is placed on the development of intelligent drinking troughs that are designed to limit water loss.  Solugen plays an important role in water conservation.

Solugen, through its water treatment process, extracts pure water. 84 % of the treated manure volume is thus recovered as pure water that can be reused. In addition to the environmental benefit, in areas where water is expensive, one can imagine the savings that this technology can generate:  For instance, for a pig farm that generates 10,000 m3 of manure per year, 8,400 m3 of pure water will be recovered. Quite a significant saving.

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