While some of the country has been blessed to have received plenty of moisture throughout the spring, there are areas that are still under drought conditions and we are heading into the hottest, driest time of the year. All living things need water and it is one of the most important details to cover as a land manager. Obviously when overseeing small parcels wildlife will borrow or share some of your neighbor’s resources. However, you should ideally try to provide food, cover, sanctuary and water on your side of the fence. If you don’t have a natural water source, there are several simple ways to make one yourself.
Obviously large machinery like an excavator will do a great job at creating a sustainable water source, but even renting a skid-steer for a weekend and creating a pond-dam can be done relatively inexpensively.
If you don’t have the financing or topography necessary for either of these two routes, a shovel, a little elbow grease and a water trough are all you’ll need. Locate a small depression (maybe where the water already pools after a rain) and dig a hole so that the stock tank will fit. Place it so when it rains the runoff will fill the tank. Initially fill it manually. From that point on, hopefully the rain will keep it filled. It’s best to place the site in the shade and where there are plants around to prevent run off and soil erosion to settle in the bottom of your tank. You may need to clean it out after a few years, but this is an inexpensive, yet efficient way of providing water for your local animals.