Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

August 20, 2007 12:50 ET

Canada's New Government Announces More than $516,000 for Farmland Water Supply Projects

ST.JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2007) - The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on behalf of the Honorable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, and the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Environment and Conservation, on behalf of Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources for Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced $516,393 for seven projects that will provide important information on water resources in agricultural areas of the province.

"By investing in these projects, Canada's New Government is helping Newfoundland and Labrador's agriculture community to have detailed, local information on water resources," said Minister Hearn. "This investment will help producers in the province expand and improve business opportunities, and also ensure the effective long-term use of our natural resources."

All seven projects are being funded under Tier Three of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Water Supply Expansion Program which is administered under the National Water Supply Expansion Program (NWSEP). Tier Three is 100 percent federally funded.

In many areas of the province, the size of the water supply is an unknown. These projects are seen as important strategic building blocks for the agricultural industry.

"Supporting farmland water supply projects is significant in the evaluation and study of water supplies in farming areas in Newfoundland and Labrador," said Minister Jackman.

The NWSEP runs until March 31, 2008 and applications may still be submitted under Tier One for on-farm water supply projects.

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Water Supply Expansion Program (CNLWSEP) supplies funding and technical support to group agricultural water supply projects and strategic studies that lead to long term secure water supplies for agriculture.

For more information, please contact the provincial Department of Natural Resources, Land Resource Stewardship Division, at 709-637-2081, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at 709-772-4063, or visit the program website at www.agr.gc.ca/h2o.

BACKGROUNDER

The long-term growth and sustainability of the agriculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador requires a greater understanding of the available water supply.

The National Water Supply Expansion Program (NWSEP) in Newfoundland and Labrador is designed to provide solutions to the water supply needs of agricultural areas in the province.

The program is used to increase access to safe and reliable water sources through developed and expanded infrastructure, to facilitate project planning, feasibility and environmental studies for irrigation, and to increase knowledge of groundwater sources in addition to other agricultural water priorities.

The projects announced today include:

1) Real Time Groundwater Level and Water Quality Monitoring of Farm Areas
$96,000 has been approved for a study of groundwater availability and water quality in farming areas in the province. The provincial Water Resources Management Division will provide an in-kind contribution of $100,000 to create a data base. The key objectives include the creation of a groundwater monitoring network and website where farmers can view groundwater levels and quality. The project includes the purchase of satellite data loggers and probes to allow for real time water quality monitoring.

2) Hydrogeology of Farming Areas in Newfoundland and Labrador

$75,000 in funding will go toward the evaluation and study of water supplies in farming areas in Newfoundland and Labrador. The two levels of government are contributing $25,000 of additional in-kind support. A hydrogeologist will be hired to compile two reports on groundwater and prepare maps and other water quality information.

3) Agricultural Water Supply Investigation in the Lake Melville Area, Labrador

$85,000 for the Lake Melville Agricultural Association to identify water sources for existing farms in the Lake Melville Area and the most practical means of making the identified water sources available to the farms. This study is important for the growth of the agricultural industry in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

4) Proposal to Evaluate Water and Air Quality with Broadcast and Manure Injection Systems

This $78,743 water protection study involves the province's growing dairy industry. The study will evaluate both grass and row crop manure injection systems, which in turn, will provide benefits to the environment and producer, including protection of surface and groundwater and reductions of odours. This study is being done in partnership with the Newfoundland Dairymen's Eastern Regional Association, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Atlantic Cool Climate Crop Research Centre and the provincial Department of Natural Resources.

5) Water Supply Expansion Project at Campbellton Berry Farm

With $56,000 in funding, Philip and Rhonda Thornley, operators of Campbellton Berry Farm, will install, evaluate and demonstrate to other farmers a buried drip irrigation system that provides water and nutrients directly to the roots of plants, and a weather station to determine the optimum times for irrigation. This system uses much less water than traditional overhead sprinkler irrigation systems, reducing the demand for irrigation water.

6) Pilot study on benchmarking indicators that relate to water conservation

This $99,200 pilot project will set the stage for the precise monitoring and reporting on agricultural water uses resources in Eastern, Central and Western regions of Newfoundland and Labrador, and will provide performance indicators to benchmark those uses in the future. The study will include the purchase and installation of flow metres on selected farms.

7) Evaluation of agricultural water uses for water management and planning

A $26,450 study to complete an evaluation of the current status of agricultural water use in the province and identify agricultural water uses for sustainable water management and planning. The study will provide reliable data that can be used to prepare water use and evaluation studies that will benefit the province's agriculture industry.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
    Tracy Barron, Director of Communications
    Department of Natural Resources
    709-729-5282, 690-8241
    tracybarron@gov.nl.ca