Indirect water demand of dairy farm buildings


  • Kordula Doering Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering
  • Simone Kraatz Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering
  • Annette Prochnow Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering
  • Katrin Drastig Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering


indirect water, consumptive water, livestock buildings, pre-chains, Germany


Water is needed in agriculture not only to ensure plant growth and to feed livestock, but also indirectly in pre-chains to produce machines, equipment, buildings and operating materials.  This water is referred to as indirect water.  The focus of this article is on the indirect water demand for farm buildings in milk production, which was assessed for the first time.  Four standardized barn types for dairy cows, a young cattle barn, a calf barn, and storage facilities were investigated.  The materials and masses of each building type and equipment were determined.  The water needed in the process of material production was taken from the Ecoinvent database.  The indirect water demand for livestock houses ranges from 1.4 to 1.9 m³ animal place-1 yr-1 and varies marginally between barn variants.  For calf houses and young cattle houses, indirect water demand ranges from 0.3 to 0.8 m³ animal place-1 yr-1.  The demand for indirect water for technical equipment ranges from 0.2 to 0.7 m³ animal place-1 yr-1.  The indirect water demand for storage ranges from 0.01 to 0.5 m3 m-3 yr-1.  Related to milk production, the indirect water demand is with 0.3 L kg-1 milk negligibly low.


Keywords: indirect water, consumptive water, livestock buildings, pre-chains, Germany

Author Biography

Kordula Doering, Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering

Department 2: Technology Assessment and Substance Cycles






I-Land and Water Engineering