A 40-kilometre pipeline will soon provide tomato growers near this southern Ontario city with a reliable water source for their crops, which will help enhance their productivity and competitiveness.
The $1.9 million federal investment was announced today by the federal government in a news release, which said the project would irrigate up to 1500 acres of tomato fields.
“This is great news for farmers in Leamington,” said local MP Dave Van Kesteren (Chatham-Kent-Essex)in the release, where he also linked the project to stimulus spending intended to combat the global economic downturn.
A dependable water supply will help producers better manage risks, increase their yields and meet growing global demand, as well as deliver consistent quality and adopt new technologies and tomato varieties. It will also benefit the municipality and the environment by building local capacity and protecting the local watershed from water shortages during dry seasons.
The funding will help the Leamington Area Drip Irrigation Inc., with the construction of a water supply pipeline for irrigation. The project includes 40 kilometres of distribution pipeline, a pumphouse and filter, and 63 field taps. The pipeline will have the capability of delivering 26,500 litres of water per minute.
“This project will help local farmers boost production of high value crops and will also protect the environment and lift the local economy,” said provincial agriculture minister Leona Dombrowsky, in the release.
The Canada-Ontario Water Supply Expansion Program was a component of the National Water Supply Expansion Program, a federal-provincial program which has helped develop, enhance and protect agricultural water supplies across Canada.