There are substantial, significant and long-lasting economic benefits to this project. Saskatchewan is well positioned to further develop our agriculture sector and show the benefits of large-scale irrigation, while supporting our ability to withstand the extremes of climate change. It will enhance our food security during a time of great global uncertainty.
This three phase infrastructure project will deliver powerful economic benefits to the Province, as outlined in “Prairie Prosperity”, a recent report released by Western Economic Diversification Canada.
- An estimated $35.5-$83 billion increase in the Province’s Gross Domestic Project over the next 50 years.
- The addition of up to $20 billion in tax revenues to support public services such health, education and social services.
- 22,700 person years of employment per year, at project maturity, and a total of 27,800 person years of employment during the 8-10 year build phase.
- $23.5 billion increase in personal incomes, over the life of the projects.
- Diversification of the province’s agricultural portfolio to include table crops such as potatoes, corn, carrots, beets, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber and other potential common vegetables.
- Enhanced food security to protect Saskatchewan consumers during potential future pandemic situations.
- Improved environmental and water sustainability to Buffalo Pound Lake through an improved upland Qu’Appelle River channel.
- Improved climate resiliency and adaptation through enhanced capability to respond to droughts.
The climate around us is changing. We need to be more resilient to a changing climate and in this province, we have the opportunity in front of us.
This project will ensure our province and the country is adapting to climate change by adding long-term food security through irrigation expansion to deal with issues like drought. More value-added crops in Saskatchewan means we can not only support our people but the whole nation of Canada. This is real climate change adaptation.
Additionally, this project offers improved environmental and water sustainability to Buffalo Pound Lake through an improved upland Qu’Appelle River channel. It also offers improved climate resiliency and adaptation through enhanced capability to respond to droughts.
Programs to support Irrigation
The Ministry of Agriculture administers the Irrigation Development Program through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
The Irrigation Development Program supports infrastructure development to create a secure and sustainable water supply to the edge of irrigable land parcels.
This pre-approval program funds the lesser of two-thirds of eligible costs or $1,320 per irrigable acre developed, to a maximum program payment of $300,000 per applicant.
Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, also provides services to irrigators in the province, including:
- Support for irrigation development in their fields, such as certification of land, surveying, designing and facilitating the approval process;
- Providing research and tech transfer for the latest technologies and crop production practices to increase profitability for irrigators; and
- Providing lifecycle analysis and helping with maintenance planning of existing irrigation infrastructure.