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 kilometers (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 the industry, wet land habitat projects, towns and villages in the area, serving a population base of 18,000 people.
The Bassano Dam is located approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) south west of the Town of Bassano. Construction of the dam commenced in 1910 with the official dam opening taking place on April 24, 1914. Building of the dam was a major undertaking; the embankment is 2,200 meters (7,000 feet) long and required 300,000 cubic meters (10 million cubic feet) of earthen fill. The concrete structure is 220 meters (720 feet) long and can handle a flow of 3,000 cubic meters per second (100,000 cubic feet per second) of water. A three year dam refurbishing project began in 1984. The concrete was resurfaced, new gates installed and the structure was computerized. Visitors to the Bassano Dam will find a scenic view point of the dam and the river valley complete with a picnic area. Group tours of the dam can be arranged through the EID office and there is also some excellent fishing found below the dam.