Irrigation is a major driver of agriculture in some parts of the Prairies, but Israel takes it to a different level. Here, an Israeli farmer walks in his field near the border with the southern Gaza Strip earlier this month.   |  File photo

Water-efficient Israel has lessons for Canada

The country, which is 60 percent desert, can grow 85 percent of its food on 555,6000 acres of irrigated land

If Canadians had to pay the full cost of water — its collection, sanitation, delivery and recycling — what would that mean? Big bills, certainly, but it might also mean they would use less than the 300 cubic metres per person that they now average. Terrence Lazarus, general manager of the St. Mary River Irrigation […] Read more

Global Water Futures is a seven-year research program established by the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan. | Screencap via gwf.usask.ca

Researchers focus on new water challenges

Canada’s farmers have a love-hate relationship with water. They pray for it when there’s not enough and they curse it when there’s too much. But regardless of whether it’s too scarce or too abundant, every farmer knows he can’t live without it. That’s one of the reasons why the University of Saskatchewan — located in […] Read more

Production on irrigated land was seven times higher than on dry land in the 10-year period looked at by the study.  |  File photo

Irrigation turns water into money in Alberta

A new report finds the province’s irrigation industry contributed $3.6 billion to GDP and $2.4 billion in labour income

Water makes things grow, which is exactly what it has done for Alberta’s economy, according to a 2015 report on the value of the province’s irrigation systems. The one million acres under irrigation generate $1.4 billion in direct sales of crops and livestock. It means 4.7 percent of the provincial cultivated land base generates 19 […] Read more


Researchers say Lake Diefenbaker needs more long-term study.  |  Flickr photo

Lake study needs dry year data

High water levels in Saskatchewan’s Lake Diefenbaker make it difficult to study algae blooms and water quality problems

Years of higher than normal precipitation and spring runoff have left researchers studying the long-term health of Lake Diefenbaker short on dry weather data. “Our study was mostly conducted during wet years and so we didn’t find any evidence of real widespread algae blooms or anything,” said Rebecca North, research associate with the Global Institute […] Read more

Long-awaited new drainage rules were announced by Saskatchewan Sept. 1.  |  File photo

New drainage rules arrive

Farmers and municipalities say they are curious to see how effective new agricultural drainage regulations will be as they are phased in over the next 10 years. The long-awaited new rules, announced Sept. 1, will bring all drainage into compliance, including works constructed before 1981, and will still require a landowner complaint before action can […] Read more


The Andros platform installs up to five parallel lines at once for up to 40 acres of cropland.  |  Robin Booker photo

VIDEO: Drip irrigation brings water to the field with less power

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — Drip irrigation proponents cite several advantages of their form of water delivery. “(With) overhead irrigation, your pumps tend to be running at anywhere from 80 to 200 pounds per sq. inch. Drip irrigation tends to be 40 to 60, maybe 80 p.s.i.,” said Ray Mackenzie of Vanden Bussche Irrigation, during Canada’s Outdoor […] Read more

The Assiniboine River has flooded several times during the past few years. The Assiniboine River Basin Initiative is designed to encourage co-operation between Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota and improve water management in the system.  |  File photo

Initiative formed to discuss Assiniboine water concerns

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota water agencies, conservation groups and political organizations support forum to solve flooding problems

Municipalities and organizations in eastern Saskatchewan support an initiative to work with North Dakota and Manitoba on water concerns, says the manager of Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association. Still, it will take time and effort to get individuals and groups from south-central Saskatchewan on board. “There’s stronger support, right now, on the east side of Saskatchewan. […] Read more

Excessive moisture for several years has sparked interest in tile drainage, said Mike Kleckner during an installation demonstration at a MJK Ag Ventures field day near Rouleau, Sask.  |  Karen Briere photo

VIDEO: Installing tile drainage a ‘winning proposition’

Yield benefits in wet, dry years | Cost could be up to $600 per acre

ROULEAU, Sask. — Tile drainage hasn’t traditionally been installed on Saskatchewan cropland, but the last several wet years and a backlash against agricultural drainage have sparked interest in the practice. Wayne Weber, designer of the Crary Tile Pro plow from Morgan, Minnesota, predicts a lot more will come. “This is going to be a new […] Read more


Gary Kehler says his success rate is better than 90 percent in most of Alberta.  However, in mountainous regions that success rate drops to 75 percent because it’s difficult to decipher data coming from the rocks. In most of Saskatchewan and western Manitoba, his success rate ranges from 75 to 90 percent. Prices range from $2,100 to $2,500 depending on the area.   |  William DeKay photo

When drilling a well, location is everything

Seismo-electric technology New method for locating groundwater cites 75 to 90 percent success rate

Farmers are drilling deeper with each passing generation as they look for reliable quantities of good water to support livestock operations. “It is simply due to the thinking that we can obtain more reliable water and bigger (water) yields by getting away from shallows wells that may be susceptible to surface contamination,” says groundwater specialist […] Read more

Farmers around Lake Manitoba are frustrated with the provincial government, which is diverting billions of litres of water from the flooded Assiniboine River into the lake. Landowners want the province to construct a drainage channel from Lake Manitoba to Lake Winnipeg to control water levels.  |  Robert Arnason photo

Water diversion report angers Manitoba farmers

Manitoba forecasters said in a July 18 flood bulletin that water flows on the Assiniboine River are dropping. They also said that the amount of water diverted into Lake Manitoba will be reduced for the remainder of the summer. As well, the province said Lake Manitoba will peak at 814.8 feet above sea level in […] Read more