Letter of Transmittal
His Honour, the Honourable W. Thomas Molloy, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan
May it Please Your Honour:
Saskatchewan is blessed with abundant water supplies, but ensuring the safety, security and protection of our water resources for today and our future generations will always remain a government priority. Accordingly, I am pleased to present the Water Security Agency’s (WSA) 2017-18 annual report, which demonstrates the progress on its initiatives, strategies and other commitments as of March 31, 2018.
A few years ago, the agency ambitiously set a course to bring together producers and communities in a new process to ensure drainage infrastructure is sustainable, with the goal of preventing flooding, protecting habitat and downstream properties, as well as safeguarding water quality.
WSA’s Agricultural Water Management Strategy represented the first major changes to drainage regulations in three and a half decades. A record 693 quarter sections were brought into compliance in 2017-18, a 371 per cent increase compared to the last year of the old regulations in 2014-15.
Producers are coming together to form priority networks to jointly address drainage concerns.
In 2017-18, the Lang West Conservation and Development Area introduced an innovative and environmentally-responsible approach to channel their run-off into the Moose Jaw River. A single approval was granted covering 30 quarters of sustainably-managed private agricultural land drainage.
Our provincial dam network remains a fundamental cornerstone of our economy and way of life. With the transfer of 20 previously-controlled federal facilities, WSA now controls and operates 69 dams in Saskatchewan. In 2017-18, the agency invested $28.7 million in ensuring these facilities continue to operate safely and reliably. WSA continued its 10-year rehabilitation of the 22.5 kilometre M1 Canal, which supplies water from Lake Diefenbaker to Broderick Reservoir and supports 56,000 acres of irrigation, six reservoirs, four regional water pipelines, five towns, three potash mines, 13 wetland projects and Blackstrap Provincial Park. About two-thirds of the Canal has been rehabilitated and when the entire project is complete in 2021, the Canal’s capacity will increase by 52 per cent.
WSA also continues to evolve its preventive and predictive water management capacity through investments in flood plain mapping, water management and forecasting and hydrology. Coupled with continued investments in maintaining water infrastructure, Saskatchewan is well-positioned to have safe and reliable water sources, and to be resilient to the impacts of climate change.
I respectfully submit the Annual Report of the Water Security Agency for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018.
Minister Responsible for the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency