Agriculture depends on an adequate supply of good quality water for plant and animal production. Safe, reliable water supplies and the accompanying infrastructure are necessary for irrigation, livestock watering, cleaning and processing operations, as well as domestic and potable uses on farms. Agricultural practices also have the potential to impact on both surface and groundwater water quality and supply.
- Livestock watering
Managing water quantity and quality is as important as the feed source and ration planning in any livestock management program.
- Ponds and dugouts
Ponds and dugouts represent an important water source for many Canadian farms. They provide water for a wide variety of uses including livestock watering, irrigation, spray mixing, aquaculture, and domestic use. It is important to maintain the best possible quality of water in your dugout to ensure that it is adequate for the intended uses.
- Watershed protection
We all live downstream in a watershed. Agriculture relies on those upstream for supplies of good water and in turn has a responsibility to water users downstream.
- Wells and groundwater
Water wells are important water sources for many Canadian farms. Good well design, construction, and maintenance are essential to ensure long-lasting supplies of high quality water and to protect groundwater from surface contamination.
Water quality indicators
AAFC has developed four agri-environmental indicators to assess the impact of agriculture on the quality of our water:
- The Nitrogen indicator tracks the risk of water contamination from nitrogen.
- The Phosphorus indicator tracks the risk of water contamination from phosphorus.
- The Coliforms indicator calculates the risk of water contamination from agricultural coliforms.
- The Pesticide indicator examines risk to water from pesticides.
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