Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Government of Alberta

Government of Alberta

March 19, 2008 12:45 ET

AAFC: $8.8 Million for Alberta Water Projects

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 19, 2008) - The Governments of Canada and Alberta today announced an investment of over $8.8 million for 63 agricultural water supply projects and studies across Alberta, which will help to ensure that the province's agricultural industry maintains a sustainable and strong water supply for years to come.

The announcement was made at the 2008 spring Convention of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties by the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, on behalf of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, and the Honourable George Groeneveld, Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. Minister Ambrose was also joined by Blaine Calkins, Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin.

"Alberta producers need access to a reliable water supply in order to deliver results at the farm gate and beyond," said Minister Ambrose. "The Government of Canada is taking another step towards ensuring our producers have access to this vital resource today and in the future."

Assistance for these projects, both technical and financial, is provided through the Canada-Alberta Water Supply Expansion Program (CAWSEP). Since the program began in 2003, more than $11.4 million has been committed to develop secure, long-term water supplies by supporting two types of initiatives: multi-user water supply projects, and strategic water studies.

"Alberta's Water for Life Strategy focuses on the need for knowledge and effective partnerships," said Minister Groeneveld. "The CAWSEP directly addresses both of these elements. Good information and well designed water infrastructure are key requirements for successful producers and a competitive and sustainable agricultural industry."

Significant initiatives which received assistance are:

- 24 multi-user tank loaders throughout the province that provide secure water supplies in times of drought;

- A water study by Strathcona County to help identify alternative sources of water for producers who currently tap into the City of Edmonton's water treatment system;

- An irrigation rehabilitation project in the Saint Mary River Irrigation District which is expected to be competed this fall;

- A system to help monitor water usage and quality is being developed by the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District; and

- Regional groundwater assessment studies to inform decision-making related to water development and protection.

The CAWSEP is the provincial component of the National Water Supply Expansion Program (NWSEP), a federal-provincial program to improve the capacity of Canada's agricultural community to address water supply concerns.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
    Media Relations
    780-422-1005
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Margaux Stastny
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059