Alberta is investing $815 million into modernizing irrigation infrastructure, with $407.5 million of it to come from Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), the provincial government says in a news release on Oct. 9. The irrigation districts will pay back the CIB portion of the funding.
“This expansion will see hundreds of kilometres of pipelines built, contribute about $436 million annually to Alberta’s GDP, and create over 8,000 jobs. The more than 200,000 acres of new irrigated farmland create from this is roughly a third of P.E.I.’s total farmland,” Devin Dreeshen, Alberta minster of agriculture and forestry, says in the release.
The project will increase irrigated acreage, increase primary crop production, improve water use efficiency, increase water storage capacity, enhance water security, and provide flood protection to support long-term value-added processing activity.
“This project is the single largest irrigation expansion in Alberta’s history” Michael Sabia, CIB chair, says in the release. “We look forward to developing more projects with the government of Alberta, to invest in its infrastructure and to strengthen and diversity the province’s economy.”
The Government of Alberta will contribute $244.5 million and the irrigation districts will contribute $163 million, the release notes.