Procedures Manual for the Classification of Land for Irrigation in Alberta (2004)

 
 
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 The Irrigation Districts Act, Irrigation General Regulation, was amended on February 24, 2003, allowing Irrigation Council to specify the standards that are acceptable for land assessment purposes. On September 11, 2003, Irrigation Council approved the use of land classification reports prepared according to the 1983 or subsequent “Standards for the Classification of Land for Irrigation in the Province of Alberta” for irrigation district land assessment purposes. The Standards and a fourth edition of the procedures manual were reprinted in 2004, noting the above amendment to the Irrigation Districts Act, Irrigation General Regulation, and Irrigation Council’s approval to use land classification reports prepared according to the 1983 or subsequent Standards for irrigation district land assessment purposes. The fourth edition of the procedures manual includes previous amendments to the Standards, including replacement of the Irrigation Act with the Irrigation Districts Act on May 1, 2000. The Standards were also amended on November 12, 1998, to allow irrigation of some Solonetzic soils, and on September 8, 1999, to clarify the rating for soils over shallow bedrock and soils over shallow gravel.

The land classes for irrigation in the current “Standards for the Classification of Land for Irrigation in the Province of Alberta” (AAF 2004) are the basis for selection of land for irrigation development. The purpose of the procedures manual is:

    1. To provide a comprehensive handbook on land classification for irrigation.
    2. To enhance uniformity among land classifiers.
Land classification for irrigation is the systematic examination, description, appraisal, and grouping of land on the basis of physical and chemical characteristics affecting its suitability for sustained production under irrigated agriculture. Selection of land for irrigation also involves prediction of the behaviour of land after development and application of irrigation water.

The purpose of land classification for irrigation is to determine the extent and degree of suitability of land for irrigation. Land units are grouped into one of seven interpretive classes, based upon relative capability for sustained production under irrigation. This classification also provides an inventory of land characteristics, identifies potential problems that may occur with irrigation, and makes recommendations for appropriate management under irrigation.

Land classification maps required for the issuing of water rights are prepared on a quarter section basis with the information formally presented in a land irrigability classification report. This classification is required for determining the acres to be irrigated and forms the basis for the operation and maintenance charges by an irrigation district. Evaluation of the irrigation suitability of land is also conducted as part of the agricultural feasibility report required under the Water Act (1999) for water licensing of private irrigation projects, and prior to land being developed for wastewater irrigation under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (1992).

Full text of this manual is available as a PDF file - 1500 KB
 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Ravinder Pannu.
This document is maintained by Bonnie Hofer.
This information published to the web on June 21, 2002.
Last Reviewed/Revised on December 23, 2013.