Water Security for the Chicken Meat Industry

Summary

The nation and the chicken meat industry are facing unprecedented water shortages in response to climate change and increased water demand. From our previous research (PRJ 004596, PRJ 005770) it is clear that chicken meat production is water efficient: total water use is approximately 21.4L/kg carcase weight, with 15%, 31%, and 54% arising from breeding, growout and meat processing respectively. However, the impact and severity of water shortages is projected to increase under the influence of climate change, and water policy settings do not necessarily ensure reliable water supply for the chicken meat industry, meaning water security is now a critical problem.This project will review water use (including peak demand and variability) and water security across the Australian chicken meat industry (nurseries, hatcheries, growout farms and processing plants), and will project the impact of climate change scenarios on future water security for growout farms over the next 15 years. Based on the findings, key factors including water licencing and public policy settings will be reviewed with the aim of identifying solutions to improve water security. In addition to reviewing solutions for water security, the project will conduct a wideranging review of closed loop and water efficiency technologies relating to the major sources of water usage and loss for hatcheries, breeder farms, growout farms and processing plants. This will identify pathways to reduce water use via improved production practices as well as alternative technologies for water harvesting, treatment and storage.

Program

Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

Integrity Ag and Environment Pty Ltd

Objective Summary

The expected outcome for this project is that clear pathways will be developed to improve water security via adoption of project recommendations. This will include pathways which identify solutions to improve water allocation security, water use efficiency, water availability, and closed loop water use (including identification of barriers to adoption) throughout the industry into the future. This will enable engagement with statebased water regulators and policy makers and will identify opportunities for improved water utilisation that can be implemented by industry.The project team have identified the following specific objectives for the project:1. To review regional water use by the chicken meat industry, identify water security issues currently affecting the chicken meat industry, and identify likely impacts into the future under climate change scenarios.2. To determine water policy settings that would ensure water security for the chicken meat industry.3. To identify novel solutions to improve water use efficiency and water harvesting.4. To identify barriers to closed loop water usage within the chicken meat industry.

Project Code

PRJ-012274

Project Stage

Current

Project Start Date

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Project Completion Date

Monday, November 30, 2020

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

An environmentally sustainable Australia

National Priority

Adoption of R&D

National Priority

CME-Develop and implement measures to improve industry's impact on the enviroment

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