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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pay farmers now or pay through tax later

There has been a discussion going on for a few years about whether society should be paying farmers to maintain natural habitats, such as bluffs of trees, pothole ponds and slough wetlands. There are those who see merit in such payments, but governments, which hold the purse strings on proposals like these, have never em-braced […] Read more

Draining land of water lands farmer in hot water

Digging ditches or removing ditch blocks requires agency approval

By Karen Briere Regina bureau A Saskatchewan farmer who was recently convicted and fined under Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency legislation says he believes he is meant to be an example to others as the province moves to tighten drainage rules. Gerald Faye, who farms north of Lestock, admits one of 14 ditch blocks on his […] Read more