Funding to Support Irrigation Efficiency in Alberta

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Applications are being accepted for the Irrigation Efficiency program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership). Marie Schussler, irrigation management technologist at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, outlines what producers need to know before applying.

The purpose of this program is to increase water savings and reduce energy use in irrigated agriculture by assisting producers with the purchase of more efficient irrigation equipment and systems.

“We provide grants to producers for purchasing new low pressure center pivots or the purchase of equipment to upgrade existing pivots,” explains Schussler. “A big change to the Partnership from Growing Forward 2 is that we have included drip irrigation to our funding list as well. Not only does this help Alberta’s producers, but agriculture stakeholders and the environment all benefit from reduced water and energy usage.”

Any active producer who owns an irrigated agricultural operation in Alberta can apply. “It does not matter whether your water source comes from a district license or private water license,” adds Schussler.

The amount of the grant that producers receive depends on the type of update being planned. “If the farmer is purchasing a new low-pressure pivot that covers more than 20 acres, they may be eligible for a $15,000 grant,” says Schussler. “Equipment upgrades to an already existing pivot can be eligible for a 40 per cent cost share, to a total of $5,000. Examples of eligible equipment are sprinkler and nozzle packages, control panels, and variable rate irrigation.”

Producers can apply more than once, but each parcel can only receive one grant in the lifetime of the program. “However, if producers have more than one parcel, they can apply again on the remaining parcels. The more parcels or irrigation systems a producer has, the more they can apply,” she adds.

In Alberta, the Partnership represents a federal – provincial investment of $406 million in strategic programs and initiatives for the agricultural sector. The Irrigation Efficiency program is one of the 15 programs that will be offered in Alberta through the Partnership funding. This program is scheduled to close in 5 years – March 15, 2023.

For more information about the Irrigation Efficiency program, contact Marie Schussler at 403-381-5532. For application forms, terms and conditions, long-term irrigation plans, visit the Irrigation Efficiency program webpage, part of cap.alberta.ca.

Source: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry