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Funding announced to boost Alberta’s irrigation infrastructure

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“Improving the efficiency of Alberta’s irrigation infrastructure means the province can use the same amount of water to irrigate even more land.”

The province notes that irrigation supports about 1.5 million acres of crop production, including producers who manage over 290,000 acres of speciality crops.

(Video: YourAlberta/Government of Alberta on YouTube)

Through 11 irrigation districts in Alberta, officials say irrigated acres produce 28 per cent of the provincial agricultural gross domestic product.

“Alberta’s agriculture industry is world-renowned, and our irrigation network is a key contributor to that success,” says Cardston-Siksika MLA Joseph Schow.

“By investing in our irrigation infrastructure, the Government of Alberta is ensuring our agriculture industry remains strong and sustainable, now and into the future.”

Funds are used by irrigation districts in projects aimed at modernizing infrastructure, including converting canals to pipelines, which the government says reduces water lost through seepage and evaporation. In 2022, it was noted that about 9.2 kilometres of open canals were converted to pipeline under the Irrigation Rehabilitation Program.

The program was established in 1969 and is cost-shared between the Government of Alberta, at 75 per cent, and irrigation districts, at 25 per cent.

The 11 irrigation districts in the province are as follows:

  • Bow River Irrigation District
  • Eastern Irrigation District
  • Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District
  • Magrath Irrigation District
  • Mountain View Irrigation District
  • Raymond Irrigation District
  • Ross Creek Irrigation District
  • St. Mary River Irrigation District
  • Southwest Irrigation District
  • United Irrigation District
  • Western Irrigation District

READ MORE: Eight-inch SMIRD allocation just enough for southern irrigators, official says

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