Ongoing drought impacts Canadian wheat, beef, and crude

Drought in western Canada is stretching into its fourth year, and it could put wheat, beef and crude production at risk.

For February, every province in the nation was suffering from some level of drought. Alberta producers were facing anywhere from abnormal dryness to exceptional drought. Precipitation was actually above normal for the prairie region, except for northwestern Alberta, which has resulted in well below normal snowpack and poor water supplies.

The extreme conditions have prompted water-sharing talks among license holders for the first time in two decades. Alberta relies on snow melt and precipitation for the majority of its water supply, and almost half of that amount goes toward irrigation for crops. Another 10% of the total goes toward oil and gas production.

The government has already decided to spend almost $700 million to expand irrigation to preserve crops, and crude producers are maximizing efforts to store and recycle water.

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