Cool Cows: Recycled Waste Water Keeps Bovines Cool and Comfortable
As the United Arab Emirates recovers from one of the longest summers in recent memory, a herd of 2,500 cows have spent the country's hottest months at a cool 25-30ºC thanks to a bracing spray of clean and fresh recycled waste water.
In a unique project that reflects its sustainable approach to dairy farming, Al Ain Dairy, the UAE's leading dairy producer, is using state-of-the-art water recycling technology to reuse 300,000 cubic liters of treated waste water per day. The technology, from Dow Water & Process Solutions (DW&PS), 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, thereby maintaining optimal dairy production levels.
"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. "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."
DW&PS, through Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, is supplying the ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis components that are processing the waste water at the farm. DOW™ Ultrafiltration and DOW 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," says Ilham Kadri, General Manager for Dow Advanced Materials Division, Middle East and Africa. "We are proud to partner with companies like Al Ain Dairy and Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, who are as committed as Dow to ensure that water conservation can be accomplished in an innovative and cost effective manner."
The process technologies in place at Al Ain have strong track records of efficiency and reliability, which ultimately helps public and private sector customers reduce their costs by reducing their overall municipal fresh water consumption. Dow's membranes also help save costs as a result of low maintenance requirements.
"Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies and Dow collaborated to deliver a design with flexible and competitive engineering. What we accomplished is greater than the sum of its parts, and touches the entire Emirate population and future generations," says Mahmoud Ayoub, Director, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies. "It is significant that Al Ain Dairy has taken the technical and engineering lead in their business approach, while remaining committed to sustainability. This project is a model for future water utilization in the region."
Improving global access to clean water is one of Dow's strategic corporate objectives. In 2009, Dow announced that initial research at the planned Dow Middle East and Africa R&D Center at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology would focus on water treatment technologies. The Center would aim to deliver innovations with immediate commercial application for the Saudi Arabian and surrounding GCC markets.