Water Resources

Indicator Definition

The volume of water used by a sector for each process, and any impacts on water quality by a sector for each process.

Why is this indicator important to the feedyard sector?

Water resources are critically important to the successful management of a feedyard.

Metric

Are water resource management strategies implemented at the feedyard that address water management, water use optimization and conservation and water quality?

Why did we choose this metric?

Adopting a water resource management strategy at a feedyard impacts both water quantity and quality by allowing the feedyard to monitor and put measures in place to optimize and recycle water, as well as protect surface and groundwater quality. Additionally, water used for feed production will be addressed through the USRSB and Field to Market (FTM) partnership.

Desired Outcomes

A properly developed and implemented water resource management strategy can have positive effects related to water resources sustainability outcomes including, but not limited to:

  • Conserved water for future generations
  • Retained and reusing of storm water runoff
  • Recycled organic nutrients through crop production
  • Offset demand of local freshwater resources by using storm water runoff water to irrigate crops
  • Ensure feedyard practices are protective of surface and groundwater

Why do these outcomes matter?

Feedyards are uniquely positioned to capture stormwater runoff with associated nutrients and utilize the water and nutrients to produce feed. This water that would otherwise go unused reduces irrigation demand on local water supplies. This sustainability metric also has an impact on land resources and animal health and well-being because it provides a process for appropriately applying nutrients from captured water to improve and protect soil quality as well as maintaining and providing an adequate supply of clean water to animals.

Success Criteria

Increase the number of feedyards implementing water resource management strategies.

How does this metric continuously improve beef sustainability?

Feedyard owners’ and operators’ management decisions related to water resources can have a significant positive effect on outcome-based metrics associated with water resources.

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