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Water foot-printing & water use reduction of Irish pig production

Project Summary

  • Water scarcity is increasing globally and pig production is highly dependent on freshwater resources
  • Consumers are looking for environmentally sustainable products. Optimizing water use on pig farms will help in making production systems sustainable and improve marketability of export industry
  • Additionally studying the role of factors (e.g. cleaning procedures, group size, stocking density, behavior, environmental enrichment) that can reduce water wastage will help optimise farm efficiencies


  • Quantify the water footprint and identify hot-spots of water consumption of Irish pork production
  • Evaluate effect of group size, sticking density, environmental enrichment provision and behaviour on water use and pig performance
  • Evaluate effect of cleaning routine on water usage, environmental bacterial load of housing facilities and pig performance

Expected Benefits:

  • Improved knowledge of water usage and wastage on Irish pig farms
  • Creation of a water footprint model for Irish pig production to help monitor water use
  • Improved water management practices will mean better financial and environmental performance
  • Deliver best practice recommendations for water consumption reduction at the farm and system levels

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