About Us

We, the staff and Board at the St. Mary River Irrigation District (SMRID), are fiercely proud that we support so much of the economic, agricultural, and environmental activities in Southern Alberta.

We are dedicated to our vision of supporting communities, environment, and agriculture in the area and to our mission to provide for future generations.

We strive to be committed citizens in Southern Alberta and are proud of the place we have in the history of irrigation and its positive impacts on the lives of citizens and our place in the past, present, and future of the area.

In order to maintain the delivery of water through a complex system of reservoirs, canals and pipelines to the many water users who are within our District, we have a staff of over 100 comprising full-time and part-time field and office staff in Lethbridge, Taber and Bow Island. These staff are responsible for the engineering, operations, and administration of the District.

Our licenses not only allow water for irrigation but for other uses such as municipal, industrial, recreational and environmental; it must be noted though that we will not allow water to be used for well injection.

Due to the investment of millions of dollars by the District and irrigators to improve the efficiency of transport and application of water to crops, the District has seen water volumes reduce while irrigated acreage increase.

Almost all the reservoirs within the SMRID system are used for recreational purposes, including boating and fishing. These include Stafford, Chin, Forty Mile, and Sauder (Rattlesnake) reservoirs that are popular recreation sites and have both public camping and boat launch facilities.


In 2021, the SMRID unveiled a new logo design which symbolizes two shapes (blue for SMRID and Green for the former TID) that form an S outline to resemble the S for SMRID. The two merging shapes represents the delivery of water to farms as the blue meets green. It also can represent a meandering river, a leaf, or a drop of water, which we believe aligns perfectly with our values at SMRID.

Find out more about Southern Alberta Irrigation history. Watch video