Rural Water Resources Planner: Irrigation Project Development Overview

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Irrigation Project Development Overview

Irrigation Project Development Overview

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A successful irrigation project will require proper planning and design. The following information describes the requirements of irrigation project development from both a regulatory and design perspective. 

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Development Steps

Typical steps in developing a project may vary from province to province but generally include:
  1. Researching and understanding all local, provincial and federal regulatory requirements.
  2. Developing a list of desired project parameters (land to be irrigated, flowrate, water quantity, etc.)
  3. Identifying potential water sources
  4. Assessing soil resources
  5. Applying for necessary licenses
  6. Meeting any requirements for obtaining licenses
  7. Obtaining engineering design if necessary
  8. Construction
  9. Monitoring and Reporting
The Irrigation Project Planning Section of this website contains much of the information described above specific to each province.

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Regulatory Requirements

The number of regulatory requirements involved with irrigation development will vary by project and jurisdictional area. New projects may need to meet more requirements than those being expanded. Common regulatory requirements include:
  • Provincial Water Rights License
  • Provincial Environmental Act License
  • Local municipal government Conditional Use Permit
  • Land Control
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) authorization
  • Transport Canada approval under the Navigable Waters Protection Act
  • Local Conservation Groups Authorization
Information on studies required in your geographic area can be found in the Irrigation Project Planning Section of this website.

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Design Requirements

There are many design requirements to consider when planning an irrigation project, including:
  • Pipeline design - Pipelines must be properly designed, taking into account the type of pipe, any necessary valves and fittings, energy losses and the desired flowrate and pressures.
  • Pump station design - The pumps must be properly selected and designed with consideration of the desired control system, project parameters and project and budget constraints.
  • Water Intake design - Water intakes must be designed in accordance with Provincial and/or Fisheries and Oceans Canada regulations.
  • Electrical Infrastructure design - If using electric pumps and components, the required electrical infrastructure must be designed according to project requirements and to electrical design standards.

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Irrigation Management

Things to consider when managing an irrigation project include:
  • Irrigation scheduling
  • Nutrient Management Plans
  • Riparian Area Management

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