I don't worry about it anymore. Seems no matter what kind of waterer they have access to, as soon as they get out and find a mud puddle, dab of melting snow, or dog dish, they drink like they'd been deprived for weeks in a desert. I watched one eye a drop of water on the tip of a leaf for a bit before hitting it like it was manna from Heaven! I know they are hydrating well using the nipples. Eggs are fine, health is great, and that never waivers whether they have access to water from another source or have been confined for extended times due to weather or us being out of town. If they weren't getting enough, we'd know it. So I crossed that off my list of things to fret about. Goodness knows they give me enough other junk to sweat so one less thing is always good. As long as I keep their water bucket cleaned out once in a while and always topped off with fresh water, it's all good.
We also put a hole in the top of their water bucket and put a piece of a bamboo skewer on a bobber. We put lines on the skewer. As the level in the bucket goes down, the skewer goes down with the level and I can see from outside at a glance if I need to add more water. We rigged a PVC pipe from outside going directly into their bucket. If I see they need water, I take the cap off the PVC, stick the hose in, and start filling, watching the skewer come up. Of course, that only works in the summer, but that's when we're gone the most and it makes checking water much easier for our little chicken sitter, Katie. She turned 10 in December but has been caring for the chickens for us when we're gone since she was 8 - and doing a bang up job, too!