Written by Elise Stolte
As found in CBC News, May 24, 2024

Parts of Alberta have been facing a severe drought for years …despite welcome rain this month, farmers and ranchers are still watching the sky with a cautious eye.

WC Ranching: “I really believe … someday in the future there won’t be any sprinkle irrigation because water is one of our most prized resources in southern Alberta,” said Wolbert, looking out over a field ready to be planted for the first time above new water lines.

Subsurface drip irrigation drought in alberta

Lethbridge College: Senior research chair Willemijn Appels on an 18-acre [SDI] research project, “In southern Alberta, the sunshine, the wind, it just blasts water. Any free water above the ground gets blasted off quite quickly. So if you can insert water below that evaporation layer … that’s enormous.”

ValkLand and Cattle: In 2021, one of the driest years Lawrence Vandervalk had ever seen, they used 7.5 inches of water to grow a 100 bushel/acre crop of wheat (compared to a typical use of 11-12 inches).

Internationally: Specialists sell this technology by promising “30-30-30.” That’s 30 per cent less operating cost, 30 per cent less water and 30 per cent more yield. But it does cost more initially.

According to Robert Wolbert, “It’s worth it.”

Full Article

This SDI story was also featured in:


Friday, May 24 (Listen at 10:54)



Tuesday, May 28 (Watch at 6:24)

2024-05-30T07:59:42-07:00May 24th, 2024|Press Release, Subsurface Drip Irrigation|