Cool cows at the forefront of water reuse moo-vement

AL AIN — At a time when conserving water resources is a matter of national importance, 2,500 cows have become an unlikely herd of ambassadors for the case in favour of water reuse.

By Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 11 Nov 2010, 8:59 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:57 PM

The herd of bovines at the Al Ain Dairy farm has survived one of the warmest summers in recent memory thanks to state-of-the-art water recycling technology that converts waste water into a cooling mist.

The farm uses ultrafiltration technology, developed by Dow Water & Process Solutions (DW&PS), which filters and purifies the treated waste water, which is then sprayed through an automated cooling system designed to keep the herd cool and comfortable during the summer season.

The farm reuses 300,000 cubic litres of waste per day using a bracing spray of clean and fresh recycled waste water to keep the cows at a cool 25-30ºC even on the hottest summer days, in the process maintaining optimal dairy production levels. While dairy farming is known to be a significant polluter of groundwater resources, particularly when effluents are discharged untreated into the water table and surface water bodies, Al Ain Dairy appears to be paving the way towards a more sustainable approach.

“Keeping our cows comfortable and healthy is essential for maintaining production levels. The challenge was in putting a system in place that would also comply with our commitment to protecting the environment,” said Engineer Raid Al Essa, Maintenance Manager at Al Ain Dairy. He added, “The solution installed by Dow and Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies fulfilled these criteria using state-of-the-art technology that allows us to maximize the utility of each ounce of water that we consume on the farm, in a manner that is environmentally sustainable.”

Mahmoud Ayoub, Director, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies praised the project and described it as “a model for future water utilization in the region.”

DW&PS, working through Veolia, is supplying the ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis components that are processing the waste water at the farm. Dow’s Ultrafiltration and FILMTEC reverse osmosis elements are used to filter the treated waste water, which is also used for irrigation and cleaning, in addition to keeping the cows cool.

“This is a fantastic example of private and public sector collaboration, of how technology can drive change, and of how sustainability makes good business sense. There is a sustainable role for our water business in this region, and with the right technologies, we are turning our customers’ challenges into opportunities,” commented Ilham Kadri, General Manager for Dow Advanced Materials Division, Middle East and Africa. —

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