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Alberta Irrigation

Trade & Transportation
Southern Alberta
$466 million (financial close)
Government of Alberta

Creating job, expanding agriculture production and growing Alberta economy

The two-phase project involves construction of modern irrigation infrastructure and significantly expanding irrigable land opportunities within ten irrigation districts. Phase one work is expected to result in approximately 56,100 new irrigated acres. Phase two is expected to result in approximately 143,800 new irrigated acres.

Fast facts

Increase irrigated acreage & primary crop production
Improve water use efficiency & increase storage capacity
Enhance water security
Provide flood protection to support long-term value-added processing activity

The primary objectives of phase 1 are to improve the efficient delivery of water, increase irrigation opportunities and to reduce water loss. With phase 2, the project aims at enhancing water security and supply within the South Saskatchewan River Basin and allow for an earlier start to the irrigation season.

Modernizing irrigation infrastructure can increase primary crop production, water storage capacity and security while helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The project will also support long-term food processing businesses.

The project is the single largest irrigation expansion in Alberta’s history and will help grow Alberta’s economy and create jobs.

The Alberta government will contribute $244.5 million and the irrigation districts will contribute $163 million to build modern irrigation infrastructure and significantly expand irrigable land opportunities.

Benefits of CIB Involvement

Agriculture sector growth can face obstacles in attracting long-term private capital to finance large projects due to the generally uncertain nature of revenues. We are using an innovative financing approach to invest in projects which face these challenges.

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An agricultural field with a series of irrigation sprinklers and a blue sky
An agricultural field with green plants in rows towards the horizon and irrigation sprinklers on the right.
Green grain plants growing in close-up
Government of Alberta

This historic investment in irrigation infrastructure will create thousands of jobs and support Alberta’s economic recovery, while strengthening our competitive advantage. Agriculture is the beating heart of Alberta’s economy and as global demand for agri-food products continues to grow, our producers and irrigation districts will be better positioned to meet that demand for generations to come.

Hon. Jason Kenney, Former Premier
Government of Canada

This is a major development for Alberta farmers. Through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, and with our provincial counterparts, this investment will leverage private sector partners to significantly increase the acreage of irrigated land in southern Alberta. For farmers of grains, pulses, and other crops, this will not only increase the yields of their crops, but also the long-term sustainability of their operations.

Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau
Government of Alberta

This is a massive deal for farmers, ranchers and food processors across Alberta. Our province is a leader in Canadian agriculture, and more irrigated acres means more investments, local jobs and the ability to feed a growing global population. Irrigation already contributes up to $3.6 billion to Alberta’s GDP and this deal will further diversify our economy, which is good news for Albertans and Alberta farm families.

Hon. Devin Dreeshen