When it comes to water, there are no standard rules. Instead, it is an understanding that depends on the type of plant, the soil, the weather, the time of year and many other variables. Fortunately, there are some averages we can use to start to figure out what to do.

In a previous blog – Water in the Garden, we explored what would be needed to have an abundant patch, but honestly, there is so much more to the discussion and design.

While the garden is essential to what we do, if you are looking at having animals in your system as well, water is an important consideration. 
We can all get caught up in how cute that baby goat is or how we want lots and lots of ducks, but the reality is that if we do not have the water to look after and maintain, then we have created stress in our lives and our system.
To help in our water budgeting, it helps to know the averages. While not perfect, it gives us a baseline to start working from.

While our trees and gardens, on average, require 5L per tree or 5L per square metre in the peak of summer, animals require their water allocations every day.

Ducks – 1L per Duck per day
Chickens – 0.5L per Chicken per day
Pigs – 6L per day
Cow – 80-140L per day subject to feed
Goat – 9L per day
Sheep – 10L per day
Horse – 30-50L per day
Dogs – 50ml of water per kilo of body weight per day
Donkey – 24L per day

From these average figures and some simple maths, we can then look further into what our water needs might be to help create a resilient, regenerative and abundant system.

What to read next?

Global Gardener – Urban

Global Gardener – Urban

Global Gardener is a documentary film series about the permaculture approach to sustainable agriculture. Bill Mollison, The father of Permaculture...

read more