Water Security Agency

Macrorie Irrigation Expansion

After another year of severe drought across the prairies, we are reminded about how critical reliable and adaptable farming methods, like irrigation, can be for producers. If you drove down just about any road last summer, dry fields with stunted crops were a common site. This impacted many farmers who are dependent on good, sustainable crops each year. 

It also reminds us of why growing irrigation capacity in the province is crucial to the long-term success of farming operations and why advancing local projects needs to be a priority, especially when infrastructure already exists.

This is just the opportunity the Macrorie Irrigation District (MID) has been researching. Over the past two years, MID has been interested in adding up to 4,000 infill acres to their district by upgrading current infrastructure and focussing on easily implemented, low-cost, temporary options.   

MID approached the Water Security Agency (WSA) and Ministry of Agriculture to conduct a preliminary engineering report and conceptual study that would determine what is possible and what could move forward to the next stage of planning.

WSA is supporting MID through an engineering contract. Although separate from the larger Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Project, the Macrorie expansion project can be developed in a way that works with the larger long-term plan.

“Although advancing the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Projects remains our top priority, there is also a need to develop small-scale projects where it makes sense,” Minister of Agriculture and Minister Responsible for the Water Security Agency David Marit said. “There has been unprecedented demand from clients wanting to expand small-scale irrigation opportunities like Macrorie. The Macrorie Irrigation District deserves credit for identifying this opportunity and driving this project.” 

Currently, 3,000 acres are irrigated using infrastructure that was originally constructed for the WIP in the early 1970’s

“We thank the province for supporting us through this preliminary stage,” Macrorie Irrigation District Manager Brian Bartel said. “While we look forward to the much larger Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Projects, we feel this is an important opportunity to explore in the near term. This could help further expand economic opportunities in the region and provide much needed drought proofing for producers here.”      

This project would support Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan to increase irrigation capacity within the province by 2030. The Saskatchewan Government continues to review existing allocations and reservoir operations throughout the province that will support further irrigation development in the future.

For more information, please contact Joel Peru, Director, Irrigation Development at 306.370.1971 or