An agricultural buildout scenario was developed that looked at potential agricultural lands that could be irrigated in the future.
The rules used to establish where potential additional agricultural lands were located in RDN are as follows:
- within 1,000 m of water supply (lake)
- within 1,000 m of water supply (water course)
- within 1,000 m of water supply (wetland)
- within 1,000 m of high productivity aquiferA geological formation that contains sufficient saturated permeable material to yield significant quantities of water to wells and springs.
- within 1,000 m of water purveyor
- with Ag Capability class 1-4 only where available
- must be within the ALR
- below 250 m average elevation
For the areas that are determined to be eligible for future buildout, a crop and irrigation system need to be applied. Where a crop already existed in the land use inventory, that crop would remain and an irrigation system assigned.
If no crop existed, then a crop and irrigation system are assigned as per the criteria below:
- Forage crops: 60% of buildout area with sprinkler irrigation
- Pasture: 20% of buildout area with sprinkler irrigation
- Blueberries: 10% of buildout area with drip irrigation
- Vegetables: 10% of buildout area with drip irrigation
Figure 11 indicates the location of agricultural land that is currently irrigated (dark green) and the land that can be potentially irrigated (red).
Based on the scenario provided for RDN, the additional agricultural land that could be irrigated is 3,111 ha, bringing the total irrigated area to 4,129 ha.
The water demandWater demand is an estimate of actual water use.Water demandWater demand is an estimate of actual water use. is an estimate of actual water use. for a year like 2003 would be 26,082,504 m3 assuming efficient irrigation systems and good management.