I am pleased to present the Water Security Agency’s (WSA) Plan for 2020-21.
Government Direction and Budget 2020-21 is focused on growth for a better quality of life – fostering a strong economy, creating strong communities and strong families – and Building a Strong Saskatchewan.
Water is paramount, both to life and all we do in Saskatchewan. The Growth Plan specifically recognizes that our Province’s continuing agricultural and economic development will depend upon effective water management and adaptation. WSA will play a key role in realizing many of the critical initiatives within both the Saskatchewan Growth Plan and Prairie Resilience.
In support of the Saskatchewan Growth Plan, WSA’s continued progress in implementing the Agricultural Water Management Strategy will keep moving Saskatchewan toward a policy of responsible water management. WSA will play an important role in achieving the Saskatchewan Growth Plan goal to add 85,000 new irrigated acres in Saskatchewan by 2030.
Through Prairie Resilience, WSA will continue to move forward with flood plain mapping for communities at risk, creating a provincial drought response strategy and building more community resiliency to manage extreme weather incidents.
WSA has also been making significant capital investments in the operation and maintenance of Saskatchewan’s network of over 70 dams and conveyance channels, part of the Saskatchewan Growth Plan’s commitment to continue investing in Saskatchewan’s public water infrastructure. Priority rehabilitation projects will include work on the Gardiner and Crooked Lake Dams, as well as continuing our process of assuming dam infrastructure in Southwest Saskatchewan transferred to WSA by the federal government. Enhancing safety around dam sites is a key future priority, the impetus behind a forthcoming public safety interaction program.
Like electricity or home heating, it can be easy to take readily available and safe water and wastewater services for granted, but WSA employees approach this responsibility with constant vigilance in their daily work. The Environmental and Municipal Management Services division of WSA oversees more than 1,400 water and sewage works operations in Saskatchewan — ensuring safe drinking water for Saskatchewan residents through inspections, monitoring, reporting, education and compliance.
The opportunities of growth will benefit Saskatchewan for generations to come, but they must be met with a robust and responsive system of checks and balances to safeguard our quality of life. WSA and its employees are meeting that challenge.
Honourable Greg Ottenbreit
Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Water Security Agency