Water Resource ManagementBrowse Index
Water Resource Management refers to the planning, development and distribution of water resources in grassland ecosystems to equitably allocate fresh water to sustain the natural environment, enable economic development and support recreational activities.
Water resource management practices provide strategies to reduce flooding, prevent erosion, protect water quality and quantity, and reduce the impacts of drought while protecting a variety of ecosystem services, such as filtering nutrients and pathogens from surface runoff to protect streams and lakes.
A combination of poor water resource management and livestock grazing near aquatic areas has resulted in degraded water quantity and quality, especially those areas located near streams and rivers. By implementing beneficial water management practices, ranchers and land managers can minimize or eliminate the negative effects of livestock grazing in riparian areas.
As one Saskatchewan rancher put it, “Water is your gold. Without it you have nothing .” Water resource management is key to attaining a sustainable livestock operation while maintaining water quality and productive aquatic ecosystems.
Caring for the Green Zone: Riparian Areas and Grazing Management
Cows and Fish Program, Alberta
This document for agricultural producers covers general grazing management principles and beneficial practices for grazing in riparian areas. Case studies documenting successful grazing in riparian areas are also provided.
Chinook Ranch Ltd.
Located near Longview, Alberta, Chinook Ranch displays a long-term vision of sustainable ranching. During the growing season the cattle graze a maximum of two to five days in one area to prevent overgrazing, and the potential spread of invasive species into native habitats.
Circle H Farms
Circle H Farms, located in Brandon, Manitoba, is a working cattle operation. The owner-operator, Brian Harper, is a conservation leader in the community and conducts tours on his operation for other producers, demonstrating the various management approaches he has applied to his land.
Della Ranches Box Country, Utah
Della Ranches is located in Box Elder County in Utah. The ranch “runs about 1,000 cattle on 192,000 acres of private, state and federally owned lands.
Ejido Casa de Janos
With the implementation of sound management practices, Ejido Casa de Janos seeks to improve both the grazing system and the grassland conditions, which will result in a better habitat for fauna.
Funk Farms Trust
Located in Shirley, Illinois, Funk Farms has long prioritized environmental stewardship. As one of the oldest farms in Illinois, management has continually adhered to sustainable practices. The farm has implemented a number of beneficial practices including water management through 35 miles of waterways and soil erosion control through 25 miles of terraces.
Gentry Ranch Partners LLC
Barber County, Kansas
Gentry Ranch Partners LLC is located in the heart of the Great Plains within southwest Kansas. The ranch manages Angus- and Hereford-based cow/calf pairs on an area with a diverse native plant community, abundant wildlife, springs, and caves. Practices carried out through this 1,426-hectare project included firebreak establishment and prescribed burns.
Ginn Family Farm
Located in Clinton, Ontario, the Ginn Family Farm operates a purebred red Angus cow‐calf operation. Over the past 25 years, the farm has taken major steps to create a healthy and productive ecosystem.
Gould Ranches Ltd.
The Gould Family has ranched south of Consort, Alberta, for nearly 100 years. The operation includes native range, reseeded forage and annually cropped acreage near the center of Special Area 4.
Grasslands: Towards a North American Conservation Strategy
Commission for Environmental Cooperation
This publication is intended to provide a framework for tri- and binational cooperation between Canada, the United States and Mexico that promotes the conservation and sustainable use of central North American grasslands.
Grazing Lease Stewardship Code of Practice
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development created this document to describe overarching management principles for grazing leaseholders to ensure public rangelands and the ecosystems on which they depend remain productive today and in the future.
Guide to Native Grassland Management in Nebraska
The Nature Conservancy, Nebraska
The Guide to Native Grasslands Management in Nebraska was created to aid Great Plains land managers in their grassland management decisions.
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