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An agricultural field with green plants and irrigation sprinklers in rows towards the horizon; the sun is setting

Investing In Irrigation, Farmers And Jobs

Alberta’s government is partnering with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and 10 irrigation districts to invest a total of nearly $933 million in irrigation infrastructure to expand production, create jobs and spur the province’s economic recovery.

Building on last fall’s historic $815 million investment, the organizations are investing another $117.7 million to modernize irrigation infrastructure and increase water storage in southern Alberta.

The largest of its kind in Alberta’s history, this enhanced investment has the potential to create 7,300 permanent jobs and 1,400 construction jobs and contribute up to $477 million to the province’s GDP every year.

Irrigation infrastructure is a critical component of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. By investing $117.7 million in irrigation projects, Alberta’s government, the CIB and involved irrigation districts are laying the foundation for thousands of good-paying private sector jobs that will produce spinoff benefits for Alberta.

Irrigation is a transformative part of Alberta’s history, and we’re proudly building on that legacy by investing even more in the province’s farmers and food processors. This historic investment will create good jobs and grow even more agricultural possibilities.

- Jason Kenney, Premier

The CIB is pleased to have increased our investment in the irrigation districts project to $466 million. Modern infrastructure is critical to the farmers working Alberta’s agricultural sector, improves water resource management and supports the province’s economy.

- Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank

This is a momentous point in history for Alberta’s agriculture industry, with nearly a billion dollars invested in our farmers, processors and the communities they support. This investment will allow them to make even more high-quality, safe food to help feed the world.

- Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development

We would like to thank the Government of Alberta and the CIB for the additional investment into the Irrigating Alberta infrastructure initiative. This is truly a transformational investment for the Alberta irrigation sector and agriculture industry.

- David Westwood, Manager, St. Mary River Irrigation District

Quick Facts

  • The irrigation districts participating in the investment are:
    • Bow River Irrigation District
    • Eastern Irrigation District
    • Leavitt Irrigation District
    • Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District
    • Raymond Irrigation District
    • Ross Creek Irrigation District
    • St. Mary River Irrigation District
    • Taber Irrigation District
    • United Irrigation District
    • Western Irrigation District
  • Alberta has more than 1.7 million irrigated acres.
  • The irrigation industry generates about $2.4 billion in annual labour income and supports about 56,000 jobs.
  • Irrigation-related agricultural processing generates about $2 billion in total annual sales and accounts for about 18 per cent of total provincial food processing sales.
  • The irrigation industry contributes up to $3.6 billion annually to Alberta’s GDP, which represents about 20 per cent of the agri-food sector GDP on only 4.7 per cent of the province’s cultivated land base.

Associated link

CIB Media
Media Team