By Tim Kalinowski
Alta Newspaper Group – Lethbridge
Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen announced $1.1 million in grants to help fund additional irrigation pipeline capacity in the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District at the LNID’s Lethbridge office on Aug. 5.
The money will be put toward the $17 million required to build the LNID’s new Lateral H1 pipeline which will provide irrigation for an additional 7,500 acres between Picture Butte and Iron Springs.
According to LNID board chair John Vandenberg the project will take two years to complete, and landowners who benefit from the irrigation project will contribute $300 per acre toward to the total cost of the pipeline, with the LNID picking up the rest of the cost through direct funding or grants.
Dreeshen said irrigation was of immense importance to southern Alberta agriculture and a key component of the region’s, and therefore the province’s, ongoing and future economic success.
“When it comes to irrigation, there’s just a huge economic potential that irrigation has,” he said. “I know there have been lots of studies that have indicated that every dollar you invest in irrigation will provide about three dollars of economic return.”
The announcement was made on the final day of the minister’s summer “Irrigation Consultation Tour” in southern Alberta.
Before leaving the region, he also presented $262,000 in grant funding to the United Irrigation District.