Five Tips for Reducing Evaporation in Your Livestock Water Tanks
When water evaporates from your livestock water tanks, it wastes water, but it also makes the remaining water saltier. If livestock drink water that is excessively salty due to evaporation (or for any other reason), the salty water can make them get ill or even die. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the evaporation from your water tank:
1. Place the tanks in covered areas
Water evaporates in the sun, and if you want to stop or at least slow evaporation, consider placing your water tanks in shady areas. Naturally shaded areas such as under a tree in your pasture are ideal as they don't require you to spend any money, but you can also use artificially shaded areas such as under canopies, awnings or carports.
2. Add floating sheets of rubber foam to your water tanks
If you have a large ranch and you cannot reasonably locate all of your livestock water tanks in shady areas, consider adding sheets of foam to your water tanks. You can buy sheets of floating foam designed to reduce evaporation, or you can make your own.
Just make sure that the foam floats and is strong enough to not disintegrate if in water for extended periods of time. The livestock will simply sip water from the open areas around the edges of the sheet of foam.
3. Use wind breaks strategically
Wind as well as sun helps to speed up the evaporation of water. To reduce the effect of wind on your water tanks, locate your water tanks near shrubs, lines of trees or other things that can break the wind and thus reduce evaporation.
4. Choose light coloured water tanks
The tank you choose to water your livestock can also play a role in how much water you lose through evaporation. Ideally, you want to choose tanks that can help to keep the water temperature down so that it does not evaporate. To this end, choose light coloured water tanks that reflect light and heat rather than dark coloured tanks that absorb light and heat.
5. Opt for depth over surface area
Finally, pay attention to the shape of your livestock water tank. The more surface area your tank has, the more prone its water will be to evaporation. If possible, look for tanks that are relatively deep without being too deep for your animals to access the water, and avoid tanks that are shallow and wide. If your current tanks are too shallow, you can purchase new ones from a company like Williams & Jackson.