Alberta, Canada Infrastructure Bank providing support for irrigation upgrade

CALGARY — Southern Alberta's eight irrigation districts will be getting an $815-million upgrade.

Premier Jason Kenney says the money is to be used to modernize and build new irrigation infrastructure and increase water storage capacity.  

The project includes $245 million from the province and $163 from the districts.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank is to provide a low interest, long-term loan of $407 million to the districts.  

The province says it expects the project will create up to 1,300 construction jobs with another 6,800 jobs to follow.  

Kenney says the expansion is long overdue for an area that is considered the agricultural engine of the province.

"Folks that came together decades ago co-operatively to solve the big problem -- they had great land, great sunshine but not quite enough water," he said Friday.

"It's gone for too long without renewal, without new capital investment."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 9, 2020.

The Canadian Press