EP53 Dugouts

EP53 Dugouts

Welcome to another episode in our Getting Through Drought series.

If you live in Alberta and raise cattle, odds are you will try every possible way to keep that spring melt, or heavy rain, on your land. While you may throw in a shelter belt or an eco buffer, we hope that you’re also giving your pasture adequate rest and recovery so moisture can soak into the soil. Here in Alberta, a tried and true method of ensuring that water doesn’t go wandering off is the dugout.

In this episode, Norine Ambrose, Executive Director of Cows and Fish, helps us understand the importance of protecting riparian areas (including dugouts) and how it can help with drought management.



  • 1:35 – Norine shares information about her organization.
  • 2:30 – What is a riparian area?
  • 3:57 – What are the benefits of riparian areas?
  • 5:18 – Norine shares four general principles of riparian management.
  • 8:38 – Why is it important to keep cows out of dugouts?
  • 11:23 – What vegetation can, or should, be planted around a dugout?
  • 13:14 – How do you keep cattle out of dugouts while ensuring they have adequate access to water?
  • 16:30 – Norine shares some Alberta riparian area success stories.
  • 20:22 – Norine wraps up by providing her advice on preparing for drought.

Useful Links:

Want to learn more?

Listen to the following episodes to learn more about riparian areas, drought management and water conservation:

Our Farmers Blog is also a great source for stories of producers in Alberta who are going the extra mile with their management practices for the land, food and their communities.