Conservation Services Spotlight: Watering systems in Roane County
By Kaitlyn Murphy, WVCA Conservation Specialist
Watering facilities for livestock are planned and installed to provide drinking water access to livestock. Installing these facilities can help alleviate resource concerns by better distributing animals (and rotational grazing) and meeting daily water requirements. Watering systems also prevent the need for livestock watering in otherwise environmentally sensitive or resource-sensitive areas.
Howard “Eugene” Parsons is a longtime cooperator (and the 2018 Outstanding Cooperator for Roane County) with the Little Kanawha Conservation District. He regularly participates in the district’s Agricultural Enhancement Program. With the installation of his watering facility, Eugene was interested in the benefits it would provide to his rotational grazing system by expanding available grazing in his pastures and shortening the distance that livestock would need to travel for water.
By installing this practice, other benefits are seen, such as: reducing or eliminating excess nutrients from livestock in waterways and other environmentally sensitive areas, reducing soil erosion and sediments being deposited into sensitive areas, and reducing soil compaction and erosion with the installation of heavy-use area protection around the facility, as a supporting practice. With proper maintenance and care of these watering systems, extended benefits can be expected for at least 20 years.