Results of Online Consultations to Help Shape New Drainage Regulations
Nov. 13, 2014 - Minister responsible for the Water Security Agency (WSA) Scott Moe today released the results of online consultations on agricultural drainage.
“This was the most comprehensive public consultation on drainage policy ever undertaken in Saskatchewan,” Moe said. “Our government appreciates the advice and information received during the online forum. This feedback will be critical to developing new regulations and policies on agricultural drainage.”
In 2012, the Water Security Agency released the province’s 25 Year Water Security Plan. A key component of the 25 year plan was a commitment to addressing the challenges posed by unauthorized agricultural drainage.
Managed by Insightrix Research of Saskatoon, the online forum was conducted between October 2013 and April 2014 and attracted nearly 500 participants who discussed various options for managing drainage.
This online public consultation contained three activities:
- The development of an online community for stakeholders to contribute their thoughts on specific issues surrounding agricultural drainage;
- A telephone and online survey of stakeholders to measure support of various policy options; and
- In-person meetings between online community members and WSA representatives.
Forum participants agreed that drainage provides many benefits to agricultural producers, but that the negative impacts of drainage must be mitigated. Also, forum participants supported implementing regulations that are risk-based; those drainage activities of a larger scale, which pose a greater risk to land and property would require more stringent regulations. The full report can be viewed at www.wsask.ca/drainage.
“Developing new drainage regulations is a priority for our government,” Moe said. “We look forward to ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders as we move to update and improve drainage regulations that have been in place in Saskatchewan since the 1980s.”
The Government of Saskatchewan committed to carrying out further consultations with agricultural, environmental, and municipal stakeholders in last month’s Speech from the Throne. Those consultations will take place over the coming months.
For more information, contact:
Water Security Agency