Water Supply and Quality
The health of our water is one of Canadians' chief environmental concerns. Agriculture is a major water user in Canada, dependent on the availability of sufficient water of appropriate quality for all aspects of livestock and crop production. Water is also needed for agri-food industries and rural households. Improper agricultural management practices have the potential to impact water quality; for example, soil erosion, surface runoff, and leaching are ways that nutrients, pesticides, and pathogens can move into surface water and groundwater.
Managing the stability and quality of water resources is facing a number of challenges including climate change, drought, excess moisture and flooding, growth and intensification of the agriculture industry, population growth, and competing water uses. In response, to achieve sustainable water management which meets social, economic and environmental needs, there is a movement towards an integrated water resources management approach involving all stakeholders to achieve sustainable water management in Canada.
Water management is critical for agricultural sustainability and the practices vary between dry regions (Prairies) and humid regions (Atlantic). Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is committed to doing its part, working with Provinces/Territories and stakeholders, to address agricultural water-related issues, to improve the sector's competitiveness and to protect the environment. AAFC programs help expand knowledge and develop new technologies in the areas of water supply and quality and agricultural Beneficial Management Practices.
General Agriculture and Water Information
Agriculture and water information is available from multimedia animation products, publications, activities, and web links.
Information is available on water wells and groundwater sources.
Surface Water and Groundwater Quality
Information, tools and methods for understanding, protecting, enhancing and treating water quality are provided.
Surface Water Supply
Tools and information on technical support for water supply development and livestock watering systems are available. AAFC-owned water infrastructure is also described.
Water Suitability and Productivity
Learn about the quality of water required for various agricultural uses, such as livestock watering and irrigation, and how improving water quality can improve productivity and reduce costs.