Aquatic Weed and Algae Control in Irrigation Canals

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Aquatic weeds and algae are an ongoing problem for irrigation districts in southern Alberta, as they adversely affect the operation and maintenance of canal and on-farm infrastructure. The need to allocate time and labour to address the problem and the loss in water conveyance and down-time presents a significant burden to both irrigation districts and water users. These problems are expected to increase if the irrigation season becomes hotter and longer as a result of climate change.

Project Objectives

This study identified and assessed current methods and strategies for:
    • Prevention of aquatic weed and algae growth in canals
    • Control of existing aquatic weed and algae problems in canals
    • Effective screening of aquatic weed and algae for irrigation pumping systems
Project Scope

The scope of this study involved:
    • A literature review and assessment of aquatic weed and algae problems and their control strategies for streams, reservoirs and irrigation canals in Alberta, the United States, Australia and parts of Europe
    • A series of at least five interviews with Alberta irrigation district managers and staff to determine the nature and effectiveness of current aquatic weed and algae prevention and control practices
    • A prediction of aquatic weed and algae growth scenarios based on parameters such as flows, nutrient concentrations, drought years and reservoir storage
    • An assessment of aquatic weed and algae prevention and screening technologies suitable for Alberta, including mechanical and chemical control systems and pump screening equipment
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Andrea Kalischuk.
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This information published to the web on December 8, 2009.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 24, 2013.