Statement from the Minister
The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to continuing the steady growth of the Province of Saskatchewan, while observing the principles of accountability, transparency and responsible spending. The 2016-17 Annual Report shows the Water Security Agency’s progress on its initiatives, strategies and other commitments as of March 31, 2017.
Each year, the Water Security Agency makes significant investments in rehabilitation of the province’s water management infrastructure. In 2016-17, that investment was $17.7M. That number includes a $12.5M investment in a ten year project to rehabilitate the M1 Canal. This 22.5 km canal supplies water from Lake Diefenbaker to Broderick Reservoir and supports 55,000 acres of irrigation,six reservoirs, towns and villages, three potash mines, 13 wetland projects and Blackstrap Provincial Park. To date 64% of the canal has been rehabilitated. When the entire rehabilitation is complete in 2021 the canal’s capacity will increase by 52%.
The Water Security Agency also invested $900K to maintain capacity of the channel that carries water from Lake Diefenbaker, south to Buffalo Pound Lake, supplying water to Regina, Moose Jaw, a number of smaller communities, two potash mines, a fertilizer producer and an ethanol plant. This water also stabilizes the levels of eight lakes within the Qu’Appelle System, enhancing recreation and property values.
This year the Water Security Agency successfully completed negotiations to accept transfer of 20 dams from the federal government. Owning and operating these dams fits well with the Agency’s mandate, operations and responsibility for managing our water resources and related infrastructure.
The Agency’s Emergency Flood Damage Reduction Program served 69 clients this year, bringing total clients served to 3300 since the program launched in 2011. This year’s grants totalled $3M.
Since 2015 Saskatchewan has seen the first major changes to how the government handles drainage in 35 years. The Water Security Agency has led the consultation, design and implementation of the new Agricultural Water Management Strategy. Pilot projects have tested the new approach and resulted in a history-making drainage approval. In February, 73 landowners received a single approval for more than 18,000 acres of an organized, responsibly-managed drainage network, the Dry Lake Project in southeastern Saskatchewan. In this, as in so many areas, farmers are leading the changes and proving that by working together, practical solutions can be brought to long-standing drainage issues.
The report also documents progress by the Water Security Agency and partner ministries and agencies on implementing the 25 Year Saskatchewan Water Security Plan.
I respectfully submit the Annual Report of the Water Security Agency for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017.
Minister Responsible for the Water Security Agency
Click here for the past Water Security Agency Annual Reports