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October 21, 2021 Innovation & Technology

Tech Talk: Water smarter – not harder

Here’s a refreshing new tool designed right here in Alberta. How about a watering device that saves countless trips to the field mid-winter to keep animals hydrated? 

Lee Smith from Consort devised an invention that does this very thing. Water Box provides 24 24-hour- drinking water to livestock all winter long. No need to chop holes in the ice or make daily watering visits to remote pastures.

How it works


Water Box uses geothermal energy from a water source to keep access open to livestock. No external power source needed. The device is inserted into the ice over shallow moving water, one to two feet deep. It can also be installed and accessed from shore. Animals use the Water Box by pushing a lever on the lid with their noses, and then placing their heads in the receptacle to drink. 

What it improves

Smith invented the handy, low maintenance device to improve care of livestock year-round, and make ranching easier by reducing the daily workload. Water Box is safer for animals, because they can drink when they’re thirsty rather than crowding dangerously onto the ice when someone comes to chop a hole.

It also keeps the water source clean, and is portable and durable enough to make access quick from any pasture or field for short or long-term use.

See it in action

Smith spent ten years developing the product, which came to market in 2020. It’s great to be able to support inventive producers for bringing useful products to market locally. See this cool contraption in action and order through: www.thewaterboxltd.com

This article was first published in the September 2021 edition of ABP Magazine. Watch for more digital content from the magazine on ABP Daily.

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Last Updated on September 21, 2023