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Abstract

Using a bio-economic model, H2OBeef, that includes traditionally considered parameters associated with running a beef feedlot but also incorporates aspects associated with water, changes that can alter water consumption and or price are examined. The results indicate that when water does not incur a cost, the net benefits of the feedlot used as the example in this paper, are in excess of one million dollars (Australian) over a 20 year period. However, with the inclusion of reasonable water costs ($1.20 to around $1.90/kL) and/or slight changes in water use within the feedlot, due to temperature changes from Greenhouse effects, the net benefits can fall to zero. Although water makes up a relatively small proportion of the total feedlot cost, if changes to water demand, supply and/or policy drive up price, then water can play a significant part in determining the economic viability of a feedlot.

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