GFM Network News


Tips for your dugout inspection this fall

When checking your dugouts this fall, start with the area that feeds into the dugout, says a water specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. ‘Make sure this area is free of debris that might flow into your dugout,” said Dan Benson. “This area should be mowed and kept clear of trees and weeds.” Leaves add […] Read more

The Coen family has strategically placed ditches that were excavated to create swales for capturing snowmelt, that either slowly soaks into the land or is captured in a series of small dams.

Innovative farmers ‘harvest’ water to boost production

Coen Farm created shallow ditches called swales to capture millions of gallons of snowmelt each spring

This winter, you might want to harvest something a little different on your farm — water. “Our farm harvests 40 years of water in two weeks just from snowmelt,” said Takota Coen, who farms near Ferintosh with his parents. “We live in one of the only places in the world where you can actually increase […] Read more


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

Irrigation, like this system near Taber, is a common sight in parts of southern Alberta. But there are predictions there will be an expansion of irrigated acres in central and northern areas of the province.

Interest in irrigation in Alberta heads north

While the lion’s share of irrigation is in the south, some expect a major expansion as far north as the Peace

From the highway, the sign seems out of place. “Now open, Southern Irrigation,” it declares. Down Lethbridge way, it might not be unusual to see a yard full of irrigation pipes and reels of tubing. But Red Deer isn’t exactly the epicentre of irrigation in the province. But that may slowly be starting to change, […] Read more


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