On our 700 acres we use a variety of water sources, including ponds and tire watering tanks. We protect water quality through limited access to ponds. Tire watering tanks are a great way to reuse tires, and work well in paddocks.
Cattle need access to clean water – as much as 30 gallons per head per day (for a lactating beef cow in hot weather).
Cattle graze more efficiently when they have water close by. The farther they have to walk to water, the less time they can spend grazing. Once the distance to water passes 800 feet, grazing efficiency falls off sharply:
Source: Green, M. Layout and design of grazing systems.
So, a good rotational grazing system keeps water within 800 feet of cattle in all paddocks.
Access to water can be improved by careful layout of paddocks and installing watering pumps, lines, and tanks.
This Oklahoma Producer Grant project fact sheet describes several practices – including permanent sod, limited-access watering points, and buffer strips – to improve water quality in ponds.
This Oklahoma Producer Grant project fact sheet includes a farm/ranch profile, project objectives, project description (water line, watering points, results), and tips/lessons learned.