Water Scarcity-DKMUL getting Water from its Farmer-Members by Tankers
Mangaluru: Water scarcity due to the low level of water at Thumbay dam from where the MCC is supplying the water to the residents, now once every three days has affected Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Union Ltd (DKMUL), where all the Nandini products including Milk is produced. It is learnt DKMUL requires an average of one-litre water to process one litre of milk- and due to water shortage the company has resorted to the drastic cut in water consumption at its Dairy in Kulshekar, Mangaluru.
According to sources, the dairy requires more than 2 lac litres of water each day for processing nearly 3 lac litres of milk. With the rationing, the dairy gets water from the corporation once in three days, that too not commensurate with the requirements. Hence, it has cut down water usage in many activities, but good news for consumers is that milk production is not affected.
Much of the water at the plant is required for cleaning rather than milk processing, and steps are taken to use minimum water for cleaning purpose. Lots of water is used to clean the floors of processing plants for hygienic purposes because even a small portion is left uncleaned could attract flies and other insects. In the meantime, DKMUL is also planning to utilise recycled water for floor cleaning. A Large amount of water is required to clean the milk storage tanks (6.4 lakh capacity). Earlier before water shortage had stuck the plant, DKMUL was adopting multiple cleaning methods once a tank becomes empty-cleaning it with water, detergents and water, during normal days. But as of now, the tanks are cleaned only once with water.
It is learnt that the dairy also has a water recycling plant and gets about one lac litre of recycled water every day, which is mainly used for gardening, floor cleaning and flushing toilets. The union is also considering using other areas where recycled water could be deployed. The bad part is that the dairy does not have any open or bore-well on its premises, but has built soak pits to harvest rainwater and the same has yielded good results.
Dairy statistics reveal that Milk procurement: 2 lac litres; Milk processing: 3 lakh litres (sourcing the balance from other neighboring unions); Water requirement: 2 lac litres; Milk storage tanks: 8 (four with one lac litre capacity and four with a capacity of 60,000 litres); Water recycling plant: One lakh litres, used for gardening, flushing of toilets and floor cleaning. To cope up with the water shortage, DKMUL has opted to seek the help from its farmer-members who own wells, borewells to supply the plant with water through their milk delivery tankers.