The Story of Water Management on the Bow River

Through the vision, funding and support of the Bow River, Eastern and Western Irrigations Districts, we are excited to showcase this initial series of ten HD-quality, professional videos on The Story of Water Management on the Bow River.

Water is the lifeblood of southern Alberta and the Bow River is critical to the health of the Region. This educational series of vignettes, shot in spectacular High Definition, takes the viewer on a journey of Water Stewardship of the Bow River and how that stewardship affects life in the Bow Basin.

Designed for both students and general audiences, the series looks at the importance of irrigation to life in Southern Alberta. In fact, irrigation feeds 40% of the world’s population, and not insignificantly in the Bow Basin. Not many of us know the rich history of irrigation in Alberta and how appropriate stewardship of the finite resources of the Bow River continue to benefit all of us – both urban and rural residents.

From food production to ecological protection to recreational opportunities, the series paints a fascinating and not-well-understood story of the real Bow River – not only it’s beauty, but its enduring qualities to sustain life, and of the people whose job it is to keep it that way.


We encourage you to learn more about The Story of Water Management on the Bow River, and hope you enjoy viewing the following videos:

  • Episode One: The Bow River The expanse of the Bow River and its uses by cities, agriculture and for power generation.

  • Episode Two: Settlers Wanted, Just Add Water – The history of irrigation on the Bow, from its 1869 beginnings as a way to settle the west, to the present day modern and sophisticated system.

  • Episode Three: Western Irrigation District – How urban Albertans in Calgary interact with agriculture through the Western Irrigation District.

  • Episode Four: Eastern Irrigation District – How the Eastern Irrigation District became the largest private landowner in Alberta and created new opportunities for the rural economy to expand.

  • Episode Five: Bow River Irrigation District – How the Bow River Irrigation District conserves water to create more agricultural and recreational opportunities and how irrigation created a sugar industry in the province.

  • Episode Six: Water Management – Why the same amount of water in the Bow River does way more than it used to – and will do even more in the future.

  • Episode Seven: Irrigation and Food - Proof that fresh food for urban and rural residents alike does not come on a truck from California.

  • Episode Eight: Irrigation and Ecology – Stewardship protects and enhances the ecology of southern Alberta.

  • Episode Nine: Irrigation and Recreation – Why (and how) Bow River irrigators are in the recreation business.

  • Episode Ten: Future of Irrigation on the Bow River – That there is enough water in the Bow for all its present users, and that irrigation, required to feed the population, will continue as long as the river runs.
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