Irrigators in Saskatchewan have the highest percentage increase in irrigated land area between 2016 and 2018.
The 43 per cent increase in land irrigated was just over 41,000 acres, according to the Statistics Canada biennial water survey.
Alberta increased irrigated acres by 129,000 to 1.17 million acres while British Columbia increased acreage by 12,000 to 183,000 acres.
Alberta had the largest increase in water use of 518 million cubic meters while British Columbia use increased 105 per cent for 381 million cubic meters.
Saskatchewan water use increased 125 per cent for 75 million cubic meters.
Much of the increased water use was attributed to lower rainfall in 2018.
Total irrigated acres in Canada was 1.7 million, an increase of 17 per cent since 2012.
An increasing number of irrigation farmers are using water conservation measures with 18 per cent using compost or other organic material, watering at night or early in the morning, or reducing water pressure.
Seventeen per cent use energy-saving water nozzles.
The number of farmers not using any conservation practices declined from 510 in 2012 to 380 by 2018.
Ron Walter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org