CDN$40 million in irrigation funding in Alberta, Canada

12.08.2020

The Alberta government announced over CDN$40 million in grants last week for irrigation and water management in southern Alberta, Canada.

The money provided for the projects through federal-provincial matching grants is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to help stimulate the economy coming out of COVID-19 pandemic and foster economic growth in the region.

The major announcement was a $22.2-million grant to help mitigate flooding risks in the St. Mary River Canal through upgrades to the Horsefly Emergency Spillway. The second grant for $7.5 million was to fund the Taber East Constructed Wetland project. The project involves incorporating settlement and storage ponds to collect stormwater that will discharge through a wetland engineered to filter and extract nutrients from the water prior to controlled release into Taber Irrigation District’s Taber Reservoir.

Additional grants include an $8-million grant for the Town of Raymond (Alberta, Canada) to enhance its municipal water system. And a $2.6-million grant to the St. Mary River Irrigation District to repair irrigation infrastructure in southern Alberta.

The governments of Alberta and Canada are also partnering to grant $205,000 to the Taber Irrigation District as part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Of this, $75,000 will be used to assess, select, install and commission a centralized supervisory control and data acquisition system to track water orders and use; $55,000 to identify opportunities to collect, treat and re-sure runoff and develop the east Horsefly drain system; $40,000 for asset and critical condition management; and $35,000 for aquatic weed mitigation at the Fincastle Reservoir approach.

In addition, $1.1 million in grants has been allotted to help fund additional irrigation pipeline capacity in the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District (LNID). The money will be put toward the $17 million required to build the LNID’s new Lateral H1 pipeline which will provide irrigation for an additional 7,500 acres between Picture Butte and Iron Springs.

Five per cent of Alberta’s farmland is irrigated and the irrigators produce more than 20 per cent of the province’s crops. Alberta’s irrigated land makes up almost 70 per cent of all irrigated acres in Canada.


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