Irrigation plays a significant part in feeding Alberta, Canada, and well beyond. For agriculture throughout southern Alberta, crop production is more reliable and varied thanks to irrigation water. 

Snow accumulation in the mountains along with spring rainfall provides water for each growing season. The Bow River flows through Calgary, where the WID diverts water through a network of canals and pipelines.

Water season runs May through September each year, when hundreds of farms and households receive water for irrigation, livestock and to use in yards and gardens.

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Alberta irrigated nurseries
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Irrigated acres
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Farms served
KMs of canals and pipelines
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Crops that can be grown locally

Areas we serve

Our district is one of several in southern Alberta that provides irrigation water to a specific jurisdiction. 

The WID begins just east of Calgary, goes north to Irricana, south to Carseland, and east to Cluny.

Alberta irrigation districts map
Click for interactive map

Our canals & pipelines

There are more than a thousand kilometres of canals and pipelines in the District. 

The main canal, originally built by the Canadian Pacific Railway, begins where water is diverted from the Bow River at Harvie Passage.

Our reservoirs

Chestermere Reservoir is a popular oasis on the prairies.

Originally an intermittent slough, the Canadian Pacific Railway constructed a holding pool, to balance water diverted from the Bow River for irrigation called Reservoir No. 1, or Chestermere Lake.

Our projects

For many years, the WID has worked with governments to upgrade  infrastructure.

More than $145 million has been invested since 2007. A significant investment into irrigated agriculture was made in September 2020 …


Through all that we do, the WID integrates an understanding and appreciation of the environment and important ecosystems.

Over the years, we have partnered with Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and other conservation organizations to support the landscape and environment in areas where we operate.

We care for and maintain the edges of our reservoirs and canals, called riparian areas. These strips of land have water-loving vegetation. 

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Where the WID water comes from

Snow melt & rain

Snow melt and rain feed the Bow River.

The Bow River

The Bow River flows from the mountains throughout southwestern Alberta.

Diversion gate at Harvey Passage

The diversion gate at Harvey Passage routes water to where it is most needed.

Provincial irrigation canal

The provincial irrigation canal allows management of this precious resource.


Water is collected in the reservoir to be allocated sustainably.

Water pipeline

Water is distributed via a sophisticated network of pipelines and canals.

Irrigated farms

Numerous crops grown in Alberta are made possible through the well-managed irrigation system put in place by the provincial government.

We support crops and stock:

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