|Author:||Bjornlund, Henning ; Klein, K.K. ; Nicol, Lorraine|
|Book Group Author:||NA|
Irrigation is by far the largest consumer of water in Alberta. The government is therefore dependent on this sector to achieve water savings for reallocating water to other sectors. Hence, a major objective of a recent government strategy is to see an increase in water efficiency and productivity of 30%. A survey of two irrigation districts was undertaken to determine the measures irrigators have taken and plan to take in the future to improve irrigation technologies and management practices to enhance water use efficiency and which factors facilitate or impede the adoption of such measures. As anticipated, the adoption rate varied between the two districts as a result of differences in production characteristics. The major drivers of adoption were to ensure security of water supply during drought, to increase quantity and quality of crops, and to save cost, while the major impediments were financial constraints and physical farm conditions. It seems that most feasible technological improvements have been implemented and considerable financial improvements or subsidies will be necessary to encourage a significant increase in adoption. There seems to be considerable scope for improvement through the adoption of better management practices. Considering that farmers in the two irrigation districts also have modest plans to adopt improved management practices, promotion and education campaigns that encourage new practices that involve minimal cash outlays might yield the greatest water savings in the future.
|Pages:||121 - 131|
|Journal:||Agricultural water management|
cost effectiveness, best management practices, drought,irrigation management, water use efficiency, Alberta