Case Study: Western Victorian Dairy Industry
The importance of Otway
water to the Dairy Industry
The South West Water Authority (SWW), based in Warrnambool, supplies water from the Gellibrand catchment to urban and industrial users. A major user of water is the dairy industry which uses 40% of total supply or about 4000 Mega litres (ML) a year.
Milk/food process industry
The six largest users are:
The rolling three year average for the amount of water consumed by the milk and food processing industry was about 2,500 mega litres (ML) in 2000/2001 (almost equivalent to the water consumption of city the size of Colac or 10,000 people). Water consumption has been increasing at a rate of 4% a year. In 2000 the largest milk and food processing industries in the region directly employed over 2,000 people.
In the future more water recycling and an increase in the use of condensate from the production of products such as powdered milk may reduce some demand for water from the Otways.
Milk production in Western Victoria has grown from 1730 ML litres in
In 2000/2001 some 1134 primary producers consumed almost 1,500 ML or 15% of the water supplied by SWW from the Otways. Uses for this water include domestic farmhouse use through to stock troughs and washing down dairy machinery.
Primary producers pay the cost of installation and maintenance of pipelines
that draw water from the mains.