The Alberta government, the Municipal District of Acadia, the Special Areas Board and the Canada Infrastructure Bank are investing about $7 million to continue the planning of a large-scale irrigation project to be located in east-central Alberta.

Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation says historically, irrigation has been a game-changer when it comes to increasing sustainable primary crop production.

"The east-central project has the potential to help grow the agri-food sector and support a diversified value-added processing industry. Thanks to our partnerships with Canada Infrastructure Bank, the MD of Acadia and the Special Areas Board, we are another step closer to modernizing and expanding Alberta’s irrigation infrastructure."

Jordan Christianson, Chair of the Special Areas Board, says the region has everything it needs to become a highly productive agricultural area – everything except a reliable supply of water.

"This project could reinvent what agriculture looks like in east-central Alberta, bringing new opportunities to producers passionate about agriculture. Special Areas appreciates the strong partnership built by this project, and wants to thank Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation, the MD of Acadia and the Canada Infrastructure Bank for their ongoing support in developing large-scale irrigation in this region.”

Planning for the irrigation project is expected to take up to 24 months to complete and will include preliminary engineering design, environmental and regulatory considerations and potential financing options.

Alberta has more than 1.8 million irrigated acres and the east-central project has the potential to create up to 108,000 more