Thanks to Irrigation
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Irrigation delivery canals and storage reservoirs were first constructed over 100 years ago. The original canals were very leaky and a lot of water seeped from the bottom and sides of the canals. The seepage supported the growth of herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees and created incidental wetlands next to the canals where none existed before. These areas in turn provided food and shelter to many animals and birds. Recognizing the seepage of water from the canals was wasteful irrigation districts started introducting innovative technology to stop the seepage by adding impermeable barriers in the bottom of canals or replacing canals entirely with buried water pipelines. These water conservation activites are neccessary however they do take away the water that supported plants, shrubs, trees and wetland areas near the canals.

To ensure plants and wetlands continue to grow and provide food and shelter for animals and birds, districts work to provide these areas with water from the canals. In many cases irrigation districts have partnered with other organizations to develop and enhance wetland and wildlife habitat areas.
Irrigation districts have created and enhanced over 32,000 hectares (80,000 acres) of wetlands on their own lands which are supported by water accessed directely from irrigation canals or pipelines.

In addition organizations like Ducks Unlimited and Alberta Conservation Association have their own wetlands and habitat areas that are supported by water from irrigation canals and pipelines and continue to work with individual farmers to develop more wetland and habitat areas across the region.