Irrigations Impact on Economic Growth in Alberta, Canada
- *Corresponding Author:
- Kulshreshtha S
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Tel: +306 966-4014
E-mail: [email protected]
Received January 25, 2016; Accepted February 23, 2016; Published February 29, 2016
Citation: Kulshreshtha S, Paterson B, Hart D, Nicol L (2016) Irrigation’s Impact on Economic Growth in Alberta, Canada. Irrigat Drainage Sys Eng 5:156. doi:10.4172/2168-9768.1000156
Copyright: © 2016 Kulshreshtha S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Irrigation development in semi-arid regions provides benefits for producers as well as many others who reside in the region. Although a common perception exists that irrigation benefits only irrigation producers, a study carried out by Paterson Earth and Water Consulting Ltd showed that irrigation positively impacts many more sectors of the Alberta economy than just irrigation producers. Compared to dry land (rain fed) agriculture, irrigation creates increased employment and economic activity through the purchase of additional farm inputs as well as processing of agricultural products. Multi-use water storage reservoirs, which support irrigation agriculture, provide societal benefits through recreation, hydropower generation, and water supply for habitat development, communities and industries. This study estimated that Alberta’s irrigation industry, which represents less than 5% of the cultivated land base, generates about $3.6 billion to the provincial gross domestic product (GDP), accounting for about 20% of the total agri-food sector GDP. It is also responsible for generating about $2.4 billion in income and creating about 56,000 jobs. Many of these jobs and incomes are generated in the rural regions of the province, and serves as an important part of the rural development initiatives in Alberta. Almost 90% of the GDP generated by the irrigation sector accrued to the region and the province, and only 10% accrued to irrigation producers.