Apariça farm is located in the south region of Portugal (Baixo Alentejo) where annual precipitation is the fourth part when compared with the north coastal region (300 mm vs. 1200 mm). Having enough quality water at herd disposal can be a real problem especially in the summer when it doesn’t rain between May/June and Setember/October. In the early days, Apariça only had small ponds for herd beverage. During dry season, most of them just had dirt and no water. The farmer had to spend about 5 hours every day to transport and provide water for his animals. To face this situation, it was establish an investment plan from 2005 forward to install a watering system that could reach every point needed for herd beverage. This system consists of a network of waterholes each one with a waterpump powered with solar panels that fills an 8000-liter tank, strategically placed in high places for the water supply to occur by gravity. In total, 12 of these groups are connected to 17 drinking points, each with a concrete drinker for cows with 1040 liters capacity.

The watering system - Photos: J. Pais


This technique lead to a cost reduction and an improvement of water quality for animals. Animal health was improved concerning the liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) problem that existed. It was carried out with own funds and the support of national/EU programs to support investment in agriculture. Started in 2005 and finished in 2018. The total investment was about sixty five thousand euros. 

A huge investment can help to save money!

This Good Practice has an Impact on:

  • Socio-economic resilience: Cost reduction.
  • Animal health and welfare: Cost reduction with veterinarian intervention and health improvement.
  • Production efficiency and meat quality: labour time is decreased