How to source water for livestock from steams and dams

water for livestockAn army marches on its stomach and a farm or lifestyle block needs water for livestock just the same. Management of water resources on the land is an essential part of farming and there are a variety of ways to supply it whether by means of a dam, stream or estuary.

Water for Livestock

Dams are commonplace on farms for watering livestock but a larger dam may need a resource consent before being erected. Information and applications can be obtained from the Regional Council along with guidelines concerning the flow and levels of water. The actual dam itself may also be subject to building regulations because of either depth or cubic metre volume of contents, structures integral to the dam may also be required to have a building permit. All waterways impact on both upstream and downstream land from the dam and this has to be taken into account, not just the impact on your own land, hence the need for legal checks and balances.

A stream which has been dammed may cause flooding but may also encourage the growth of weeds and bacteria which can impact on the quality of the water downstream. Some farms may use bore water for their livestock, to construct or alter a bore may need a consent. If taking water directly from a stream, river or lake a land use consent may be necessary. Bridges and culverts which need to be installed, along with vegetation clearance and earthworks may likewise necessitate a land-use consent. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse, the information and advice is available to be used.

NIWA is another institution which can not only supply information regarding water resources but can help with monitoring tools to check the quality of your water. Data on rainfall figures, climate trends, river and stream history are also available through them to help you assess the reliability of your water courses to provide an ongoing water supply for your livestock.