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SE Shall We Gather At the River

Irrigation and the Future of Southern Alberta's Rivers

Southern Alberta’s rivers are at risk, currently, with the present levels of water diversions for irrigation agriculture. The irrigation sector has proposed a “modernization” scheme, funded by nearly a billion dollars of provincial funds, a loan from the Canada Infrastructure Bank and some of their own money. While irrigation efficiency has merits, it appears none of the saved water will remain in our rivers to improve declining aquatic health. Irrigation expansion, up to 230,000 acres is projected as one of the benefits of this modernization scheme. It is critical Albertans know what the implications and consequences are if this proceeds, especially without an environmental impact assessment with broad public participation.

Speaker: Lorne Fitch is a professional biologist, a retired provincial fish and wildlife biologist and a former adjunct professor with the University of Calgary. Lorne has been a biologist for 50 years, working on many issues related to use of land and water. Lethbridge is home, where he pens articles and essays on issues related to Alberta’s landscape and critters.

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