Grants available for irrigation upgrades

Grants to reduce water use or energy use can be as much as $15,000 for each irrigated parcel

Applications are now being accepted for the Irrigation Efficiency program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The program offers grants for new low-pressure centre pivots or upgrades to existing pivots (such as sprinkler and nozzle packages, control panels, and variable-rate irrigation) as well as drip irrigation. Any active producer who owns an irrigated agricultural operation in Alberta can apply.

“It does not matter whether your water source comes from a district licence or private water licence,” said Marie Schussler, irrigation management technologist at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

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The amount of the grant depends on the type of update being planned.

“If the farmer is purchasing a new low-pressure pivot that covers more than 20 acres, they may be eligible for a $15,000 grant,” said Schussler. “Equipment upgrades to an already existing pivot can be eligible for a 40 per cent cost share, to a total of $5,000.”

Producers can apply more than once, but each parcel can only receive one grant in the lifetime of the program.

“However, if producers have more than one parcel, they can apply again on the remaining parcels,” she said. “The more parcels or irrigation systems a producer has, the more they can apply.”

The Irrigation Efficiency program is one of the 15 programs offered in the Alberta version of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the successor to Growing Forward 2). For more information, visit the Canadian Agricultural Partnership website.

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