GFM Network News


Glacier loss to impact Alberta water supply

The loss of glaciers due to climate change is likely to mean late-summer water shortages for more than one million Albertans, according to a new study. It’s predicted Western Canada will see a 70 to 90 per cent glacier loss by 2100, and that will impact Alberta’s water supply, notably the Bighorn Dam (about 100 […] Read more

Red Deer County's rainfall simulator shows how much runoff and water infiltration can be expected from different management practices.

Rain, rain don’t go away: How to capture more moisture on your land

When it comes to retaining rainfall, seeing is believing — and new infiltration tool does just that

Drought is a four-letter word in Alberta right now — but also proof that it’s critical to make the most of any moisture we get. “If we’re getting the types of rain we normally get, water infiltration probably isn’t that big of a deal,” said Ken Lewis, conservation co-ordinator with Red Deer County. “But in […] Read more


Prairie drought conditions improve

CNS Canada — While drought conditions in Western Canada have improved following late-season snowfall, it isn’t a completely rosy picture just yet. “We have seen significant departures from normal in terms of precipitation (on the Prairies over) a long period. The winter hasn’t been above average (for precipitation) so there hasn’t been a whole lot […] Read more

Two slides of the same land from the geodiscoveralberta.ca website: The lower ‘wetlands turned on’ slide shows a potentially much larger wetland area, which is apparent in the upper photo. What constitutes a permanent or semi-permanent wetland can only be determined by a wetland scientist, but if they aren’t considered ephemeral, a costly environmental impact assessment is required before any drainage can be installed.

Do your homework before installing tile drainage

Finding out what constitutes a wetland and finding a suitable outlet for drained water are two key considerations

Tile drainage is becoming increasingly popular among Alberta producers concerned about losing valuable land and inputs to excess water. Although tile drainage can be beneficial, it is not without its dangers if a system is designed incorrectly — or if producers don’t know the rules. In Alberta, tile drainage systems — like all drainage or […] Read more


Manitoba’s southwest expecting ‘well above normal’ runoff

Manitoba is expecting normal to above-normal spring runoff except in the Souris River basin, which is looking at “above normal to well-above normal runoff potential.” Levels of spring flooding still depend on future weather conditions, Infrastructure Minister Blaine Pedersen said Friday in the province’s March flood outlook, but the risk of overland flooding is “slightly […] Read more

Wet spring hampers Prairie fertilizer timetable

CNS Canada — This week’s dump of snow in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba will likely push back fieldwork and fertilizer applications on a lot of farms, according to one crop watcher. Keystone Agricultural Producers president Dan Mazier, speaking from a conference in the U.S., said only about 50 per cent of the normal amount […] Read more


Runoff levels up in Saskatchewan’s forecast

Saskatchewan has raised its expectations for spring runoff across the board, now predicting “near normal” levels for much of the province and “above normal” to “well above normal” levels in its southeast. The province’s Water Security Agency on Thursday released a March spring runoff forecast pointing to two “areas of concern” — the province’s far […] Read more

Saskatchewan snowpack points to below-normal runoff

Thanks to above-normal temperatures that drew down much of Saskatchewan’s snowpack in January, the province now sees “below normal runoff potential” in most areas outside the southeast. Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency on Thursday released its 2017 preliminary outlook for spring runoff, noting the province has another six to 10 weeks of possible snowpack development. The […] Read more


Phosphorus program aims to reduce Lake Erie nutrients

Chatham, Ont. — Henry Denotter’s farms near Kingsville, Ont. are close to the Wigle Creek, which flows into Lake Erie and takes with it any residues it pulls from nature and farmers’ fields. The Wigle Creek subwatershed, west of Leamington, has turned into ground zero in long-term research on how farmers can reduce phosphorus running […] Read more

Little critters causing big problems for Alberta crops

CNS Canada — They may look cute and harmless, but gophers have been wreaking havoc on crops across Alberta. Gophers have been reported causing problems in southern, central and northeastern Alberta for canola crops and pastures, according to the provincial Crop Report. “It’s been dry again this year and that triggered them; it’s been quite […] Read more