Water is vital for successful farming in the dry Okanagan grasslands. "The whole success or failure . . . turns upon carefully planned and properly conducted schemes of irrigation," was advice given to prospective farmers in 1909. Irrigation greatly changed the Okanagan landscape as introduced food crops replaced the natural habitat. The extent of these changes is revealed by J.T. Bealby's recommendation to his readers in 1912:
"On every account it is decidedly preferable to clear everything off the land in the first instance that you would not wish to retain there perpetually. A clean sweep costs very little more than a partly finished job, and makes all your subsequent operations so very much easier, so very much more satisfactory, and proportionally much cheaper."