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8 km southeast of Brooks, off Highway #1
Brooks, Alberta, Canada
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and what southern Alberta farmers and ranchers needed when they began to settle the region in the early 1900s was water. Enter the Canadian Pacific Railway, 300+ workers and 38 construction crews who together built an elevated, 3-kilometre long trough out of 19,000 cubic meters of steel enforced concrete to create the Brooks Aqueduct above the arid Alberta prairie.
Construction of the aqueduct began in 1912 and water began flowing through this snake-like engineering marvel in the spring of 1915. The supply provided crop-saving moisture to parched southeast communities, and with a capacity of 70 cubic meters of water per second, played an indelible role in establishing Alberta's farming country.
The Brooks Aqueduct turned off its taps in 1979 after modern irrigation systems took hold in the region, but the massive cement beast still winds across the landscape. Today it's a National Historic Site, interpretive centre, and a popular picnic spot too.