Over the past few years, rural Alberta has seen some expansion. Some are people from other provinces or abroad who found work here, some are children of farmers going into business for themselves, and some just want out of the city. Many of those people dream about a quiet country life, away from the noise and constant activity of the city. For people who have never lived in the country before, that is a big adjustment. Some things like water supply are taken for granted.
Water supply can become a critical issue quickly depending on your usage, and accurately measuring consumption becomes a necessity in all the plans you have for your property, big or small. On existing farms looking to expand their livestock operations, calculating consumption can help determine if they need to expand their dugout before they expand their operation. A close look at water consumption and available sources can help both rural producers and residents avoid any potentially disruptive or expensive problems.
Melissa Orr works as an agricultural water engineer for Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development. I spoke to her recently at the Water, Agriculture and the Environment Conference in Lethbridge, Alberta about some of the issues that accompany rural water supply.
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