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Some effects of water quality on the performance of high yielding cows in an arid climate
  1. DJ Challis,
  2. JS Zeinstra and
  3. MJ Anderson


The water from wells in Saudi Arabia is often high in mineral content. The cows in this study had been receiving water containing between 4000 and 5000 ppm total dissolved solids. Four groups of 16 cows were calved down and milked under similar conditions in the hot summer months. Two of the groups were given normal well water and the other two groups received water after desalination in a reverse osmosis plant. One group on each type of water also had their water cooled. The groups of cows receiving treated water drank more water, consumed more concentrate and produced significantly more milk than the groups given normal well water. A similar effect on feed intake and milk production was seen when treated water was given to a 1000-cow unit with a similar number of control cows.

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