Document Type

General - Feed & Water

Publication Date



Due to efforts to use improved grazing strategies, such as intensive rotational or paddock grazing, livestock producers need dependable and economically alternative methods of providing water to livestock. In addition, efforts to improve water quality have resulted in a new emphasis on the establishment of buffer strips and riparian zones along streams. In most cases, the establishment of these zones requires the exclusion of livestock. Livestock producers who rely on streams to provide water for their animals must develop alternative watering systems before they can rotate animals into grazing paddocks that do not adjoin streams or ponds, or before they can implement best management practices that require livestock exclusion from streams.

Several options are available to producers when choosing a livestock watering system. These systems can be divided into three basic types: direct access, gravity flow and pressure systems. The best system type for a particular producer will depend on many factors, including site layout, water requirement, availability and cost of utility water and electricity, as well as water source type and location. This publication provides basic descriptions of some livestock watering system alternatives, and discusses some of the positive and negative aspects of each.

Publication Number

PB1641-2M-4/00 E12-2015-00-159-00

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