Living the Country Life

Water Content

Tap into a natural spring on your property to provide water for livestock
Springs help keep water level constant and your livestock will enjoy the cool water.   Jeff Bettinger is a district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS...
All it takes is providing food, water, cover, and places for birds and animals to raise their young
My backyard has been certified as an “official wildlife habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation.  I have birdbaths and feeders, lots of native plants and shrubs, and bird houses...
Farmers are volunteering their land for real-world water quality research and education
The Discovery Farms program is a multi-state, farmer-led research and educational effort to gather water quality information from different types of farming systems. The goal is to determine the...
Give birds and other wild things a drink
I have a birdbath that I keep filled with water year-round. I’m rewarded with all kinds of birds coming to my back yard. Even squirrels enjoy a drink. Larger wildlife, such as deer, would also...
Buy the best you can afford
When you need to get water from point-a-to-point-b, a good garden hose comes in handy. It can be tough to shop for a hose because there are so many choices. Denny Schrock is the Master Gardener...
Farmers around the country are volunteering for a surface-water runoff study
The Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS, wants to prove that voluntary conservation efforts by farmers are valuable to everyone. A project called “Edge of Field Monitoring”...
The best defense against a flooded basement is a sump pump
When there’s a lot of rain, our sump pump gets a workout. When the water rises to a certain level in the sump pit, the pump kicks on and disperses the water away from the house.  If you...
Under federal law, people have recreation rights on a stream or river running through your property
Several years ago I was canoeing on a river and nearly got hung up on barbed wire fences that were strung from bank-to-bank. The landowners probably put them there to keep cattle from going...
Pay attention to water conditions and use common sense to avoid health risks
It feels good to take a cool dip in the pond on a hot day.  But there's always more to the water than meets the eye. Bob Broz is an extension water quality specialist at the University...
Don't throw away those old farm machinery tires. Hook them up to a water supply, and you've got an excellent watering tank for livestock
Livestock need a continuous supply of fresh water, but many producers are concerned about the cost and durability of water tanks. Recycled machinery tires are heavy-duty, and the animals can't...