Swiss army airlifts water to thirsty cows

Low rainfall and searing temperatures this July have seen the Swiss Army using high-tech helicopters to deliver much needed water to the country's parched cows.

Swiss army airlifts water to thirsty cows
Cows need to drink 100 to 150 litres of water a day. File photo: AFP

The unusual military operation saw soldiers installing ten water tanks in the Jura region of Canton Vaud on Monday. 

A further six tanks were expected to be set up on Tuesday, with helicopters flying in water sourced from Lake Neuchâtel and the Lac de Joux.

Refilling will take place via pumps.

The millions of litres water supplied should now come to the rescue of some 20,000 cows, with each animal needing 100 to 150 litres a day.

The current watering operation is being funded by the Swiss government, but other regions of Canton Vaud will need to find — and fund — their own solutions to water shortage issues, the army said.

Other cantons across Switzerland have also requested military assistance for livestock, a spokesperson for the army told reporters recently

Switzerland has enjoyed record temperatures this July.

Average temperatures for the first two weeks off the month are already above those seen in the blisteringly hot summer of 2003 when the average maximum for July was a very un-Swiss 32.7C.