The Alberta government has granted almost $1.1 million to the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District as part of the province’s $10-million Irrigation Rehabilitation Program.

This funding will help ensure the province’s irrigation districts continue to improve water infrastructure that provides water for irrigation and agricultural operations, municipal use, recreation, wildlife, and habitat enhancement.

“The staff at Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District work hard every day to make sure that water is delivered efficiently and safely,” said John Vandenberg, board chair of the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District. “This funding will help ensure our infrastructure remains strong and can keep up with demand now and in the future.”

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.

“As well as supporting farmers and ranchers and the food processing sectors they supply, this long-running program ensures that thousands of Albertans in municipalities across southern Alberta will continue to have a reliable water source, aquatic habitats, and recreational areas,” said Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge East.

L to R: Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District Board Chair John Vandenberg, MLA Nathan Neudorf, Minister Dreeshen, and Lethbridge County Councillor Klaas VanderVeen announce the Irrigation Rehabilitation Program funding. Image Credit: Government of Alberta.

Rehabilitation projects supported by these grants include lining unlined canals and converting canals to pipelines. These projects increase the water conveyance network’s efficiency, according to the Government of Alberta, allowing more acres to be irrigated with the existing water allocation.

“Irrigation infrastructure is critical to economic stability in southern Alberta,” said Devin Dreeshen, minister of agriculture and forestry. “This grant will increase great-producing irrigated farmland by conserving water and increasing water efficiency through pipelines. We were elected to deliver on jobs, the economy, and pipelines. This project supports all three.”

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