Delta – Drainage & Sub-irrigation Project
|Project Lead||Delta Farmers' Institute|
|Funding Partners||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Agriculture|
Effective drainage of agricultural lands is an important contributor to the agricultural viability of Delta. Despite existing practices and drainage infrastructure, drainage remains a challenge for some agricultural land in Delta. Drainage is likely to become more important (and challenging) with projections for an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events and the potential for coastal flooding.
At the same time as managing through more excessive precipitation, producers in Delta will also be managing more extended dry periods when irrigation is most needed. Producers will wish to identify mechanisms for most effectively and efficiently making use of available water. One option (that relates to drainage systems) is use of sub-irrigation. However, the relationship between of sub-irrigation and soil salinity requires additional exploration.
Prior to investing in a drainage pilot project (currently underway as a part of the Farm Adaptation Innovator Program), this project completed a thorough review and compilation of information from previous drainage projects in Delta, along with a broader literature review and a producer survey (to discuss current drainage systems and recent experiences with managing extreme precipitation). This project confirmed the need for the current pilot project, and defined the scope, key questions and approach for the current piloting/demonstration. This project is a partnership between the Delta Farmers’ Institute and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Land and Food Systems.
See also the related Farm Innovator Project: Improving On-Farm Drainage Management to Reduce the Impacts of Climate Change in Delta, BC.