During a drought, ever drop of water matters. These 11 tips can help you eliminate waste and conserve water on your horse farm.
- Check all your hoses, faucets and fittings for leakage, and fix where appropriate.
- Position sprinklers to rain over the plants rather than extraneous areas such as roads, ditches, etc.
- Water early in the day to minimize loss from evaporation as temperatures rise.
- Water for longer periods of time, but spread out intervals between watering to encourage plant root growth.
- Add soil amendments can enhance water-retention properties.
- Mulch (when appropriate) to further reduce evaporative losses.
- Eliminate weeds as they tend to compete with grasses for water and nutrients.
- Cover water tanks halfway to limit evaporation.
- Check water sources—water tanks, creeks, ditches, and ponds–making sure that they are palatable and free of algae and debris. Treat standing water against mosquito larvae using mosquito dunks or crumbles.
- Collect rainwater from gutters and runoff if allowable in your state.
- Refrain from giving the horses baths.
By using common sense, you can use your water resources most effectively for managing your horses and your pastures.
By Nancy S. Loving, DVM