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HomeGlobal NewsIrrigation to end early in southern Alberta - Lethbridge

Irrigation to end early in southern Alberta – Lethbridge


Irrigation has been the only thing keeping some southern Alberta farmers going the past couple of years, but the stream of water will be shutting off earlier than usual this year.

According to the Raymond Irrigation District (RID) extremely low reservoir levels have led to the decision to shut off water earlier than normal.

“Usually we have water right up to Thanksgiving, we turn the water off and there is still water in the reservoirs, this year just because the snowpack was poor and then there wasn’t any rain, the precipitation was poor throughout the year, the reservoirs are quite empty,” added Jason Miller, general manager with RID.

Miller added the St. Mary reservoir is basically empty now so water usage will start coming from Ridge reservoir, however added use to that reservoir is expected to deplete quickly so the RID is expecting irrigation to be finished by Aug.28.

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“It’s been a tough season, the reservoirs have been low right off the beginning,” added Miller.

The RID board of directors has also banned all post-harvest irrigation to help conserve water.

RID didn’t have to reduce water allocation throughout the season giving farmers the right amount of water to grow their crops.

“They have done their job,” added Miller. He said “We were able to irrigate throughout the season.  Farmers with irrigation have been blessed and have had fairly good crops. ”

According to the latest Alberta Crop Report,  11 per cent of the crop is combined in the South region, which is ahead of the five-year average.

Overall crop conditions for the province show the poorest rated regions remain in south and central Alberta which are 22 and 28 per cent below their 5-year average, respectively.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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