Southern Alberta’s Irrigation Districts have been provided funding to “improve” their works.
Often this means lining existing open canals or replacing them with pipelines, which eliminates valuable habitat attractive to pheasants, other wildlife and at-risk pollinators. There are currently 278-kilometres of irrigation district canals slated for “improvement.”
Water loss in these irrigations systems is primarily the result of evaporation and seepage. And with a limited supply of available water, one of the ways to expand irrigation is to improve the current system’s efficiency. Given a burgeoning world population to feed, it’s difficult to argue against improving water efficiency, especially when your argument is focused on maintaining habitat for ring-necked pheasants.
Work began last year and will continue into the future. Pheasants Forever has been advised that some irrigation districts have agreed to keep a portion of these critical linear habitats intact.
We will continue working with these districts to find solutions that include conserving wildlife habitat.