Water Security Agency

Developing an Operating Plan for Lake Diefenbaker

Lake Diefenbaker is a critical water resource that provides multiple services for the province of Saskatchewan. It provides source water for half of the province’s population, including its two largest cities. It also provides source water for agriculture including the province’s major irrigation areas, various industries, mining, and aquaculture. For many people Lake Diefenbaker is prized for its recreational and aesthetic characteristics, which are important for increasing personal well being and attracting and retaining people within the province. Given Lake Diefenbaker’s central role in the economic, social and environmental fabric of Saskatchewan, it is vital to ensure this resource is well managed. Such planning must fundamentally aim towards balancing sustainable economic growth and a healthy environment. It is therefore important to undertake initiatives to better understand how factors affect the quantity and quality of water in Lake Diefenbaker so that the lake can continue to provide high quality water to meet the needs of the province. These factors include both human activities and natural processes (e.g. climate variability).

Stakeholder Consultation/Engagement Process

The Water Security Agency (WSA) wants to engage stakeholders in a meaningful and inclusive way. The consultation/engagement process is designed to seek advice from targeted local, regional, provincial, and federal stakeholders by presenting them with information on how the WSA currently manages Lake Diefenbaker and the problems and dilemmas associated with managing this important and complex system. The goal of the consultation/engagement is to challenge the stakeholders to help the WSA develop an optimal operation plan for the system.

Feedback gathered through the consultation/engagement process, along with technical and financial considerations will be used to inform the development of a new Lake Diefenbaker Reservoir Operating Plan resulting in more formal rules and operating procedures for Gardiner dam. The plan cannot be a static thing. It must be subject to revision and must recognize the potential impact of climate change and other extreme events in the future. The plan will ultimately be determined by government as a matter of public policy.

It should be noted that although the Qu’Appelle River and the diversion of water to the Qu’Appelle River is an important component in the operation of Lake Diefenbaker, it is not the focus of this stakeholder engagement process (at this time). The focus of this engagement process is the Saskatchewan River system. As such, the emphasis has been to engage stakeholders from organizations along the Saskatchewan River system. See Appendix A for the proposed list of stakeholders.

To encourage meaningful participation of the First Nations communities along the Saskatchewan River system, representatives from these bands have been invited to participate in the initial stakeholder engagement meeting. The subsequent sector sessions with the First Nations communities, with Chief and council have been proposed at either an individual band level or regional scale, depending on the band’s interests and availability.

Background documents created for the Lake Diefenbaker Watershed Reservoir Operating Plan Stakeholder Consultation/Engagement Process 

Developing a New Reservoir Operating Plan for Lake Diefenbaker – Handout at May 30, 2012 meeting
Lake Diefenbaker Reservoir Operations: Context and Objectives
State of Lake Diefenbaker Report
May 30, 2012 Meeting Summary – Lake Diefenbaker Consultation
Review of Lake Diefenbaker Operations 2010-2011 Report 

Presentations given at the Lake Diefenbaker Watershed Reservoir Operating Plan Initial Stakeholder Meeting in Outlook, SK on May 30, 2012

  1. Introduction and Process Overview Presentation
    Terry Hanley (Water Security Agency)
  2. Interim Reservoir Operating Plan Presentation
    Bill Duncan (Water Security Agency)
  3. Hydro Power Generation Presentation
    Lain Lovelace (SaskPower)
  4. Irrigation Use and Benefits from Lake Diefenbaker Presentation
    Duane Harding (Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association)
  5. Provincial Parks and Tourism Importance of Lake Diefenbaker Presentation
    Chris Potter (Saskatchewan Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport)
  6. Downstream Uses Presentation
    Susan Lamb (Meewasin Valley Authority and Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin)

Dr. John Pomeroy was to present at the May 30, 2012 meeting, remotely via SKYPE, on the document the Centre for Hydrology completed on the Review of Lake Diefenbaker Operations 2010-2011. However, due to technical difficulties the presentation was not possible. To view the PowerPoint presentation prepared by Dr. John Pomeroy and Dr. Kevin Shook, for the May 30, 2012 meeting, please click here.

Stakeholder engagement process documents associated with the development of a new Reservoir Operating Plan for Lake Diefenbaker

Notes from stakeholder response sessions:

Downstream Municipal Sector in Saskatoon on July 16, 2012 – Saskatoon
Environmental Sector Response Meeting – July 12 2012 – Saskatoon
First Nations Governance Response Meeting – Oct. 16, 2012 – Prince Albert
Government Sector Response Meeting – July 24, 2012 – Regina
Industrial Sector Response Meeting – July 19, 2012 – Outlook
Metis Nation – Saskatchewan Governance Response Meeting – Sept. 15, 2012 – Saskatoon
Municipalities Upstream Sector Response Meeting – July 11, 2012 – Elbow
Recreation Sector Response Meeting – July 18, 2012 – Saskatoon

Summarized feedback from Questionnaire

Developing a New Reservoir Operating Plan for Lake Diefenbaker: Questionnaire Summary

Lake Diefenbaker Operating Plan Consultation: Sector Response Session Results Document prepared for the Water Security Agency by Rescan Environmental Services Ltd.

Lake Diefenbaker Operating Plan Consultation: Sector Response Session Results

If you have any comments, please send them to Dr. Terry Hanley, Director of Policy and Risk Management, Water Security Agency.