The Alberta government has provided a $262,000 grant to the United Irrigation District as part of the province’s $10-million Irrigation Rehabilitation Program.

“Water is vital to the province’s ongoing agricultural success and the Irrigation Rehabilitation Program grant will ensure water infrastructure is upgraded to ensure maximum efficiency,” said Devin Dreeshen, minister of agriculture and forestry. “Alberta grows some of the best food in the world and water is critical to our continued economic success as an agricultural powerhouse.”

The grant from the Alberta government will help ensure the United Irrigation District can continue to improve infrastructure that provides water for irrigation and agricultural operations, municipal use, recreation, wildlife, and habitat enhancement.

“Since 1919, the United Irrigation District has been providing water effectively to local farmers and ranchers to grow and supply food for the world,” said Duane Nelson, board chair of the United Irrigation District. “This funding will help ensure our infrastructure remains strong and that our producers can continue to put food on plates around the globe.”

Funds from the Irrigation Rehabilitation Program are often used to replace open channel irrigation canals with buried underground pipelines that reduce water loss through seepage and evaporation. Water that would otherwise be lost is then available for irrigation and other uses.

Picture of grant announcement in United Irrigation District
L to R: United Irrigation District Chair Duane Nelson, Minister Dreeshen, and MLA Joseph Schow. Image Credit: Government of Alberta.

“Funding from this program will help ensure that municipalities across southern Alberta will continue to have a reliable water source for people, producers, aquatic habitats and recreational areas,” said Joseph Schow, MLA for Cardston-Siksika.

Started in 1969, the Irrigation Rehabilitation Program provides cost-shared funds to irrigation districts to rehabilitate irrigation infrastructure. Alberta’s government contributes 75 per cent of the cost and the district contributes 25 per cent.

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Information about the Alberta government’s Irrigation Strategy is available here.

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