Alberta has the largest irrigated area in Canada with nearly 680,000 hectares of irrigated land. More than 80 per cent of this area is in 13 irrigation districts. Irrigation water is not only essential for agricultural production, it provides municipal water for more than 40 municipalities plus thousands of rural residents in Alberta.

A recent report summarizes the first-year results of a five-year project (2011-2015), where water was sampled at 86 sites and more than 150 parameters were measured. Water sampling will continue in 2012 with some modifications to the project design, including the addition of pathogens. The report summary and the full report are available on Alberta Agriculture’s website.