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Dairy cows require a lot of water. Heifer farmers in Vietnam are adopting a floating switch drinking system, which will help them meet the water needs of their cows at all times.

Dairy cows need 5 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of milk. On average, a lactating dairy cow will drink 95 up to 150 liters of water per day. They must be provided clean water access 24 hours a day. Maintaining a sufficient water supply for cows is critical to meeting cows’ physiological needs and to improving production efficiency. That's why Heifer farmers in the Soc Trang province in Vietnam have implemented a floating switch drinking system. 

Here's how it works: In this system, water flows from the higher level to the lower level and will stabilize when the levels are the same level based on gravity. The floating switch will control the water flow base on the level of the float in the trough. Therefore, farmers can control the level of the water in the trough by adjusting the float level.

Floating switch system
The floating switch system.



Water from the container will run through the tap when the float is down and stops when the float is up. One floating switch can control the level water of many troughs as they are all at the same level. If the water supply is not reliable, a preservative water tank will be installed to ensure the water is available for cows all times. 

Creating the device requires a water container, water pipes, pipe joints, a washer and floating switch, glue and a water trough. Now that Heifer farmers in the Soc Trang province have successfully implemented the new system, it will become part of all future training materials for farmers in Vietnam.


Story by Ho Duc Tham, Associate Director of Programs in Vietnam 

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Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.

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