Agriculture in Delta
Irrigation Water Supply Update
Salinity chart: water.nhcweb.com
View instructions on accessing the salinity data on the NHC website.
Delta’s objective is to supply good quality irrigation water from the Fraser River whenever possible, through a number of gravity river intakes and the 80 Street Irrigation Pump Station. This season may prove challenging due to an earlier than normal freshet, which may result in lower river flows at the end of July and August. Typically our conductivity threshold for bringing in water is 400 microSiemens per centimeter (μS/cm). As the availability of less than 400 μS/cm water diminishes, staff will increase the threshold in steps to a maximum of 700 μS/cm.
Delta is a special place where urban and rural landscapes blend together. Nestled between the vibrant communities of Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta lies some of the most important agricultural land in British Columbia. Agriculture is vital to Delta's economic, environmental and social sustainability, and we encourage our residents and businesses to support local agriculture by buying and eating local, or by growing your own food.
How farming shapes the community
Agriculture is a substantial contributor to the economy of Delta with total gross farm receipts of almost $170 million in 2010 (latest figures). In 2005, Delta was home to 3.3% of farms and 6.4% of the total agricultural land base in the Lower Mainland. However, Delta farms earned 11.5% of this area’s gross farm revenues and a relatively high proportion of BC’s total gross farm receipts. In addition, about 50% of the province’s potato acres, 50% of the greenhouse vegetable area and 25% of the field vegetable acres are located in Delta.
As agriculture shapes Delta's economy, it also influences how our communities grow. Most of Delta's farmland is located in the Agricultural Land Reserve, thereby restricting urban sprawl and promoting walkable, compact communities.
Agriculture is an important part of Delta’s history, present and future. It has been my long standing goal to enact policies and make decisions that support and enhance agriculture in our community. Within these web pages you will learn about the programs in place to support agriculture that I, along with Delta Council, have initiated over the years. There is also information related to the types of farming conducted in Delta and the activities involved in bringing a sustainable harvest to your plate.
In 2011, Delta Council adopted an Agricultural Plan
for the community that has the following vision:
“Delta is a place where the business of farming can prosper while contributing vitally to the community‘s ecological attributes and social, cultural, and economic well-being.”
We have been working hard to make this vision a reality by taking action to strengthen Delta's agricultural operation to be more resilient to the impacts of climate change. To help achieve this goal, Delta has partnered and provided funding for Delta's Agricultural Adaptation Program.
The program, lead by the BC Agriculture Council's Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative in partnership with Delta, the Delta Farmers’ Institute, the Province of BC and the Government of Canada, brought together farmers, government and industry partners to develop climate change adaptation strategies for Delta's agricultural community.
Together, farmers, the Delta Farmers’ Institute and government partners are taking steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change to ensure agriculture remains sustainable and viable into the future. We hope that you will gain a better appreciation for agriculture in our municipality as the community’s ongoing support is vital for its success.
Lois E. Jackson