Water Smart Farm Projects

Farm & Food Care has been contracted by OMAFRA to conduct a number of water use assessments to help growers better understand how and where they use water. By having better information, growers are often able to reduce their water use, cut costs and generally find lower cost treatment systems.

Project Goals: 

  • Water use optimization by considering, risk (amount), economics, plant water requirements, and timing of use. 
  • Optimize irrigation water use by considering, risk (amount), economics, and field water distribution patterns.

Each assessment will include:

  • On-site collection of information pertaining to current water uses, losses and estimated costs through spot sampling, the installation of water and electricity metering equipment;
  • Preparation of a water balance showing current water inputs and outputs in the process, and alternatives such as reuse, reduction and recycling opportunities;
  • Identification of opportunities to reduce, reuse and optimize current water use and losses;
  • Development of business cases (costs, equipment life, simple payback, etc.) for implementation of the identified opportunities, and recommendations;
  • Delivery of a final report documenting the current situation, identified opportunities, economic assessment, and recommendations.

NOTE: Water quality analysis is not shared with OMAFRA.

For more information, or if you are interested in taking part in a water assessment, please contact Farm & Food Care directly or through your local association:

Farm & Food Care~ Bruce Kelly [bruce@farmfoodcare.org / (519) 836-1326]

Holland Marsh Growers Association ~ Jodie Mott [growers@hollandmarshgold.com]  

Ontario Greenhouse Growers ~ Justine Taylor [jtaylor@ontariogreenhouse.com]

Grower time requirements:

  • Assessment will take one day with the assessment team on-site plus a maximum of one additional visit for follow-up questions, generally once the team is shown how the system runs, they can install the water flow meters without much impact on the owner’s/staff time.

Grower Benefits:

  • Water use and wastewater use characterization;
  • Identification of opportunities to reduce water & energy use, reduce wear & tear on equipment, cost savings and simple paybacks;
  • Identification of potential incentive programs to implement opportunities;
  • Third party verification of the system