Regional Irrigation Feasibility Work Ramping Up - Special Areas Board

Regional Irrigation Feasibility Work Ramping Up

The investigation into developing irrigation in the region is moving forward this summer into more detailed technical work. This work, which is being completed through a partnership including the Special Areas Board, M.D. of Acadia, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank, is expected to help clarify what the opportunities are for investment in large scale, greenfield irrigation infrastructure in the region.

“Our Council and staff have been working really hard to develop irrigation opportunities - we know how important opportunities like these are to the future of our region. Our Council is excited to see the progress being made to fully understand what the options are and how we can bring irrigation projects to the M.D. and larger region.”

Jason Wallsmith, CAO – M.D. of Acadia

Over the summer, the project will focus on investigating areas of technical and financial feasibility including potential project scale; potential environmental, social, and economic impacts; potential revenues, capital and operating costs; potential investment models; water availability and regulatory considerations; broader community impacts; and local producer considerations.

“Living in east-central Alberta, we understand how critical it is to secure a reliable supply of water. As a part of this partnership project, we are working hard to understand the technical, financial, and regulatory factors which impact our ability to develop irrigation in this region in a financially feasible way.”

Jordon Christianson, Chair – Special Areas Board

As more detailed investigation work begins this summer, individuals interested in receiving updates on the project should register with the Special Areas Board, the M.D. of Acadia (Jason Wallsmith, CAO at 403-972-3808), or send preferred contact information to public.input@specialareas.ab.ca.


The Special Areas Board, M.D. of Acadia, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conduct a joint feasibility study to investigate the opportunity for developing irrigation in this east-central region of the Province.

This feasibility work includes an assessment of:

  • regulatory considerations
  • technical feasibility, including conceptual design
  • water availability
  • study business case
  • potential environmental, social, and economic impacts
  • potential revenues, capital, and operating costs
  • potential operating and administrative models
  • potential study delivery model(s)
  • potential investors & investment strategies
  • community acceptance