Office Hours: 8:00am - 12:00pm & 1:00pm-4:30pm Monday through Friday

Irrigation Expansion

farmland aerial photo

2018-2019 Expansion

The expansion plebiscite was held on December 4, 2018. Irrigators were asked if they approved of the increase in the Bow River Irrigation District’s expansion limit from 260,000 to 295,000 acres. Of a potential 800 votes, 164 votes were cast: 132 votes in favor of expansion, 32 votes against expansion.

The district’s expansion limit will increase to 295,000 acres, an increase of 35,000 acres, upon third reading of the expansion bylaw on December 19, 2018. The capital asset charge is $1,500 per acre. Financing will not be offered and there will be no assistance for the landowner’s infrastructure costs. The board has designated 25,000 acres for the development of dryland parcels and 10,000 acres for intensification.

Application forms can be found at the bottom of this web page. They are also available at the office and can be mailed or emailed by request. To apply, you must be the owner of the land, or have a purchase agreement registered on the title. The initial application deadline is January 16, 2019. There is no deposit required at the time of application. No priority will be assigned to the earliest applications; all will be treated as though made the same day.

Applications received on or before the deadline date will be examined at the regular board meeting one week later, on January 23. If your application(s) is/are approved, you will be contacted and required to submit a $100 per acre, non-refundable deposit within six weeks of notice of approval. The application will be cancelled if the deposit is not received when required. This deposit will be refundable only in cases where something out of the applicant’s control occurs, such as a soil test indicating that the parcel cannot be irrigated. This applies to dryland expansion acres and intensification acres. If soil testing is required for intensification acres, you will be informed of that need. All dryland expansion requires soil tests.

The eligibility of all parcels/acres is dependent on soil test results and the ability of the BRID infrastructure to supply the parcel(s).

If the applications exceed the 25,000 acres available for dryland expansion, the distribution method is as follows:

- every applicant will receive their first eligible parcel applied for.
- if sufficient acres remain, any applicant that applied for two parcels will receive their second eligible parcel.
- if sufficient acres remain, any applicant that applied for three parcels will receive their third eligible parcel; this process will continue until the supply of acres is allotted.

If the applications total less than 25,000 acres, applicants will receive the eligible acres they applied for, with applications received after the initial deadline to be processed in the order in which they are received.

The following rules apply to all new acres:

- The capital asset charge must be paid in full prior to adding new acres to the assessment roll.
- Soil testing, confirming the irrigability of the new acres, must be completed where required prior to any irrigation occurring. Irrigation may be permitted under an annual agreement prior to adding acres to the assessment roll.
- If you plan to irrigate in 2019, prior to acres being added to the assessment roll, the balance of the capital asset charge ($1,400 per acre) is due on or before December 31, 2019.
- If the new acres are not added to the assessment roll prior to May 1, 2019, but are irrigated in 2019, an annual agreement fee (anticipated to be $19 per acre in 2019) will be assessed.
- If the new acres are added to the assessment roll prior to October 31, 2019, the annual agreement fee will be applied as a credit to the capital asset charge, and the acres will be re-assessed at the regular water rate.
- If the new acres are not purchased in 2019, a $45 per acre postponement fee is due on or before October 31, 2019, in order to hold the acres for 2020. Failure to pay this fee will result in cancellation of the application and loss of the $100 per acre deposit. The rules and deadlines (revised to 2020) listed above for new acres irrigated in 2019 will apply to new acres added in 2020, where applicable. The capital asset charge for all new applications approved on January 23, 2019 must be paid in full on or before December 31, 2020.

Application Forms:

New Irrigation Acres Application Form
Intensification Application Form
Hays Intensification Application Form

If you have questions, or wish to submit an application, please contact:
Rolf Schwabe at 403-654-2111 or via email: