Canada and Alberta Support Farm Families with Irrigation Investments
The grants will provide funding to help irrigation districts and irrigators plan and develop tools that will enhance innovation and improve efficiency of Alberta's irrigation systems.
The \\$1 million grant program is part of the Growing Forward 2 federal-provincial-territorial initiative that has a mandate to drive an innovative, competitive and profitable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.
Alberta’s irrigation system:
- includes 8,000 kilometres of canals and pipelines, worth an estimated \\$3.5 billion
- provides water to roughly 1.4 million acres, 50 towns and villages, multiple industries and processors
- is the main source of reservoir/lake recreation in the southern part of the province
- allows for the production of a diverse range of cereal, oil seed, forage and specialty crops
- has made southern Alberta the world capital for seed canola production
- adds an estimated 56,000 jobs and approximately \\$3.6 billion a year to the provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
"Irrigation is the lifeblood of farm operations in southern Alberta. This investment will provide efficient, innovative and sustainable water resources to Alberta's farmers while contributing to the growth of the Albertan agriculture and food industry, as well as the Canadian economy."- Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"Modern and reliable irrigation is critical to the success of Alberta farmers. This funding will support Alberta farm families with the freshwater resources they need to improve the efficiency, sustainability and productivity of their operations across southern Alberta."- Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
"One million dollars in grants is welcome news for irrigation districts. This funding will help ensure that we continue to manage this valuable resource in a way that benefits us all."- Ron McMullin, Executive Director, Alberta Irrigation Projects Association