All the water delivered through the irrigation system of the Eastern Irrigation District is diverted from the Bow River at the Bassano Dam. The 1,200 irrigation farmers received their water through a system of 4,800 kilometres (3,000 miles) of canals and drains and thirteen internal storage reservoirs. In addition to on-farm irrigation, the system also supplies water to all industries, wetland habitat projects, towns and villages in the area, serving a population base of 18,000 people.
Located approximately 8 kilometres southwest of the Town of Bassano is the Bassano Dam. Construction of the dam began in 1910 with the official dam opening on April 24, 1914. The building of the dam was a major undertaking; the embankment is 2,200 metres (7,000 feet) long and required 300,000 cubic metres (10 million cubic feet) of earthen fill. The concrete structure is 220 metres (720 feet) long and can handle a flow of 3,000 cubic metres per second (100,000 cubic feet per second) of water. A three-year dam refurbishing project began in 1984 that saw the concrete resurfaced, new gates installed and the structure computerized. Visitors to the Bassano Dam will find a scenic viewpoint of the dam and the river valley complete with a picnic area. Below the dam is home to excellent fishing and group tours of the dam can be arranged by calling the EID office at 403.512.0839.