The Bow River Irrigation District is the third largest irrigation district in Alberta by irrigated acres. Our current irrigation limit is 295,000 acres.
The Bow River Irrigation District (BRID) headquarters are located in Vauxhall, Alberta (approximately 2½ hrs. south east of Calgary, Alberta). The BRID owns and operates several hundred kilometres of earth canals and water pipelines, as well as several reservoirs. This infrastructure is used to provide irrigation and domestic water for farming, industry, wildlife, and communities within the district's boundaries.
Water for the BRID is diverted from the Bow River at the Caresland Weir. Lake McGregor, Travers Reservoir, and Little Bow Reservoir are the major water storage reservoirs for the BRID, which are owned and maintained by Alberta Environment, a branch of the Government of Alberta.
The BRID contains the third largest area under irrigation of Alberta's thirteen irrigation districts - as of 2019, the District has an expansion limit of 295,000 acres (119,382 hectares) with 251,750 acres (101,880 hectares) being irrigated.
The BRID is administered by an elected Board of Directors and their staff.
The concept for what was to eventually become the BRID began in 1903 with the Grand Forks Cattle Company which became the Southern Alberta Land Company. Construction actually began in 1909 at the main diversion on the Bow River near Carseland. After delays caused by financial difficulties and the outbreak of the First World War, the comany was amalgimated with the Alberta Land Company and Canadian Wheatlands to become The Canada Land and Irrigation Company (CL&IC) in 1917.
The first delivery of water took place in 1920. By 1921, 9,400 acres (3,804 hectares) were being irrigated. The acreage under water had increased to 30,000 acres (12,141 hectares) by 1930.
The Canadian Government purchased all the land and assets of the CL&IC in 1950 and turned control over to the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (P.F.R.A.) In 1968, the Bow River Irrigation District was created and took over the Bow River Development Crown Corporation in the Enchant area. In 1974 the BRID was expanded when the federally owned Bow River Project at Vauxhall and Hays was amalgamated with the BRID.
Headquarters for the Bow River Irrigation District are located at Vauxhall Alberta; about 250 kilometers south east of Calgary. With the completion of a new Office/Shop Complex in 1998, all departments are under one roof situated on a 38 acre parcel of land abutting Vauxhall's northern boundary.
For those that are interested, there is a history book available. Please contact the office in Vauxhall for further information.