By J.W. Schnarr
The Municipal District of Taber supports a funding proposal for return flow monitoring sites the St. Mary Irrigation District is hoping to install on the Yellow Lake basin.
During their regular meeting on Jan. 27, council addressed a request by SMRID for the M.D. to provide a letter of support for a funding application through the Tier 1 Joint Programs Approach for the Alberta Watershed Enhancement Program and Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program. The plan is to add seven hydrometric monitoring stations to the Yellow Lake basin.
“They are going to be installing monitoring stations, primarily on significant irrigation spillways,” said Municipal Administrator Derrick Krizsan. He noted part of the reason for this was to measure the movement of overland water into the area.
Yellow Lake is located 16 kilometres southwest of Bow Island, and lies partially within the boundary of the M.D. of Taber and the County of Forty Mile.
Yellow Lake is part of the South Saskatchewan West Sub-Watershed and is the primary destination for run-off water within the yellow Lake Drainage Basin. The lake measures approximately 1,100 hectares.
1,079 hectares of farmland are directly irrigated from Yellow Lake through the use of pump stations on the shore which pump directly from the lake itself. Irrigators are required to adjust their pump locations and intakes as water levels fluctuate with the season.
Yellow lake provides and estimated 7,400 cubic decametres of storage to SMRID’s North Grassy and north Burdett Canal in dry years. But, according to SMRID, the lake’s most important function is that it serves as the collection point of surface run-off and excess irrigation flows.