The presence of irrigation infrastructure and irrigation in southern Alberta grows and diversifies the regional economy but also influences the provincial economy by annually contributing about $3.6 billion to the provincial gross domestic product (GDP).
The variety and reliability of crops able to be grown under irrigation provides stability for the Agri-food processing industry. Investment by businesses such as Cavendish, McCain’s, Lamb-Westin and Lantic/Rogers Sugar occurs because of the availability of reliable, high-quality product grown within the region. Less agricultural product leaves the province unprocessed and more jobs are created. Potatoes are processed into potato products, sugar beets into sugar.
Agri-food processing facilities, feedlots, the oil and gas industry and other commercial ventures require water to carry out the day to day operations of their facilities. Irrigation infrastructure conveys this water allowing some facilities to strategically locate to benefit their business.
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