Although the Okanagan is considered to have one of the most favourable climates for agricultural production in the province, in many cases moisture deficiency during the late spring and summer make irrigation a necessity. Water for agricultural operations is predominantly supplied through surface water licenses or through one of the region’s many water purveyors. Excessively hot and dry conditions during the summer months can lead to agricultural water restrictions – with many producers being asked mid-summer to reduce their water use by 20% or more to help conserve water for future/other uses. Most producers have difficulty reducing water use at the height of the production season when agricultural water demand is often at its highest.
This project created simple resources to support producers in assessing the performance of their irrigation system to help conserve water and prepare for increased pressure on water supply due to dry conditions. This will allow producers to take pre-emptive action in advance of the growing season, ensuring that their water use is as efficient as possible if and when agricultural water restrictions are enacted.
The project produced a series of fact sheets, each designed to provide step-by-step instruction on how to conduct tests on your irrigation infrastructure to understand how it is performing or underperforming. Simple changes, such as changing out nozzles, can conserve more water than most producers expect and is a relatively low-cost solution.
A series of case studies have also beeen developed, which will demonstrate and quantify how action today, such as changing out irrigation nozzles and automating irrigation, can improve water use efficiency during the growing season and help to preserve water during dry periods.
Resources & Downloads:
Farm Irrigation Fact Sheet #1 – Pipes & Pumps – 2023
Farm Irrigation Fact Sheet #2 – Sprinklers & Guns – 2023
Farm Irrigation Fact Sheet #3 – Catch Can Tests – 2023
Farm Irrigation Fact Sheet #4 – Soil by Hand Feel – 2023
Farm Irrigation Fact Sheet #5 – Scheduling Basics – 2023
Case Studies – Improving Water-Use Efficiency for Managing During Dry Conditions – 2023
Webinar – Irrigation Workshop | Improving Water-Use Efficiency to Manage Dry Conditions | 2023