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Water Management on Canadian Farms

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Water Management on Canadian Farms is the fifth article in a series of studies collectively called Farm Environmental Management in Canada.  The objective of this series is to publish the results of the 2001 Farm Environmental Management Survey (FEMS).1 The series presents information about the farming practices used on Canadian farms as they relate to a number of agri-environmental topics such as manure handling, water management, chemical inputs and sustainable land management practices.

Water Management on Canadian Farms examines practices for the protection of natural water sources and those for management of water directly used on Canadian farms, both in farming and household activities. This article presents information on the maintenance of vegetation in areas adjacent to natural sources of water, the practices used by dairy farmers who store liquid manure and dispose of their milkhouse wash water into liquid manure storage systems, as well as use of water for irrigation and the testing of domestic water.

Note to readers

Readers should be aware that FEMS data alone, though providing a wealth of information, are insufficient to assess environmental risks. FEMS data are meant to provide an overall picture of various farming practices that may have an impact on the environment. To have a full appreciation of farmers’ adoption of environmental management practices and of their impacts (positive or negative) on the environment, additional information and more comprehensive analysis is required. Thus, readers are advised to use caution when interpreting these data.


  1. FEMS was conducted in March 2002 by Statistics Canada for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  The survey provides a broad coverage of farm management practices that are related to the environment in all sectors of Canadian agriculture.  The three previous articles in this series are Manure Storage in Canada, Manure Management in Canada and Fertilizer and Pesticide Management in Canada.

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