GFM Network News


Officials check on a flooded home in the Constance Bay area in Ottawa on April 26. A grant of nearly $250,000 from the Intact Foundation for a quartet of flood mitigation projects was announced as communities in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick were battling devastating floods.

Farmers in three provinces tapped to help reduce flood risk

A $250,000 investment will see 46 farmers establish and maintain 365 acres of wetland projects

New funding for an innovative conservation program could help reduce flood risk in Alberta’s largest city. The charitable arm of Intact Financial Corporation — the country’s largest provider of property and casualty insurance — is giving nearly $250,000 in funding for ALUS Canada to develop natural infrastructure projects in four communities across Canada, including two […] Read more

It’s recommended that well owners do a bacteriological analysis up to four times per year and a chemical analysis every three to five years.

Spring is the time for testing your farm’s water supply

Testing for every possible contaminant is expensive — here’s what should be at the top of the checklist

It’s up to rural landowners to keep their water safe — and spring is the ideal time to get that job done, says a water quality expert. “Winter can accumulate pollutants, then spring thaw and run-off carries the previous six months’ worth of pollutants down to groundwater and sideways towards surface supplies,” said Mitch Golay, […] Read more


Dealing with gases in your water well

Dissolved gases occur naturally in water wells but can lead to both quality and safety issues

Gases in water wells can cause some quality issues or even be a danger, says an agricultural water engineer with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Gases can occur naturally in water wells after being dissolved in the water and released when pumped out of the well. “Sometimes people complain about the smell, but the gases you […] Read more

Seven years ago, flooding caused more than $1 billion in damages in Manitoba. Shown is a 2011 photo of the southern Manitoba town of Morris, which is protected by a ring dike.

Virtual reality shows real-world implications of land management on flooding

A new computer simulation tool shows how healthier soils can reduce run-off on the landscape

Virtual reality isn’t all fun and games. It’s also helping with flood mitigation. “We’ve built this tool that can characterize the risks around flooding and the influence that good management practices within the agricultural landscape can have on flood resiliency downstream,” said Steven Frey, a senior scientist at Aquanty Inc. The company, a research spinoff […] Read more


The Working Well program has several videos and numerous fact sheets on caring for well water, but thousands of Albertans have attended one of its many workshops over the past decade.

Popular Working Well program launches new season

A new season of Working Well workshops gets underway this month. Since it was launched in 2008, there have been 254 workshops on how to properly care for water wells and protect groundwater resources. More than 6,900 people in 172 different communities have taken the workshops, which are put on by several provincial departments and […] Read more

The Fraser River in British Columbia.

What do you want your fresh water used for?

Each of us needs to think about the sustainability of the limited supply of this most precious resource

It all began with industrious engineers who understood hydrology and the importance of water. They built dams and created wetlands throughout Canada, and in doing so had a system in place for water preservation and purification. Then the felt hat became fashionable, and those engineers ended up as pelts on long canoes for shipment to […] Read more


This photo from the website of ALUS Canada shows a road washout in the 
Modeste subwatershed in August 2016.

Eco-services group to capture flood waters on farms and ranches

ALUS Canada has been given a $720,000 grant from Alberta Environment and Parks’ Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program for flood-prevention work. “We are excited to start putting this funding to good use on the ground in the Modeste subwatershed,” said Lara Ellis, the organization’s director of strategic initiatives. “ALUS will quickly establish new natural infrastructure […] Read more

Assessing beef production solely on the amount of water used to produce a pound of beef paints a false picture, says Beef Cattle Research Council.

The environmental argument for cattle

Critics who slam the sector over water use and greenhouse gases only give half the story, says Beef Cattle Research Council

Editor’s note: A recent blog from the Beef Cattle Research Council offers its rebuttal to “vilifying headlines and simple, partial arguments” that criticize the beef industry for its water use and environmental impact. The following is a condensed version of the blog, which can be found at the Beef Cattle Research Council website. Make no […] Read more


Irrigation generates $3.2 billion for the Alberta economy and has expansion potential, says a report from the  Alberta Land Institute.

Report looks at the benefits of irrigation expansion

Study says irrigating dryland would produce big economic benefits but would need government support

A recent report from the Alberta Land Institute highlights the economic benefits of expanding Alberta’s irrigation system and offers improved forecasting of agricultural and irrigation needs. The report, entitled Systems modelling for sustainable land and water policy in Alberta’s irrigation sector, was prepared by Evan Davies, an associate professor in civil and environmental engineering at the University […] Read more

Six factors to consider if your soil moisture level is low

To date, all indications are pointing to a dry spring, given the below-average precipitation received in many areas of the Prairies this winter. There are exceptions to every rule of course, but a lot of farmers had relatively dry soils going into winter, so we asked some agronomists and provincial crop experts what factors could[...]
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