Water Security Agency

Dry Lake Drainage Project

What is the Dry Lake Drainage Project? 

The Dry Lake Project brings together 73 landowners and 18,000 acres into a single approval for an organized  drainage network.

This project is the largest single agricultural drainage approval in the province’s history – equal to roughly one full year of drainage approvals issued in southeast Saskatchewan.

While large scale organized drainage projects have been built before, this project is unique in that it includes all existing and future drainage works. There has never been a project of this size in our province and to the best of our knowledge across the country.

Dry Lake Watershed

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Where is the Dry Lake Project?

The Dry Lake Project is located within the Gooseberry Lake Watershed in the southeastern part of the province. The project includes existing drainage and future drainage works and will create major benefits for producers, downstream landowners and the environment.

What does this project do?

  • The Dry Lake Project saw the Water Security Agency take a number of new approaches to issue this historic approval. A joint application was utilized for land control replacing the previous requirement for legal easements on 113 quarter sections or hundreds of neighbour-to-neighbour land control agreements.
  • By installing 30 staging culverts, controlled release will throttle spring runoff to the equivalent of a 1 in 2 year flow rate.
  • All flow controls for existing drainage works have already been constructed by participating landowners, ensuring that downstream landowners and communities will not experience flooding due to this project.
  • Further, this project restored 34 acres of wetland on existing drainage and 21 acres of wetland retention on new drainage, representing a very substantial contribution made by agricultural producers in support of wetland habitat conservation.

Will this approach work in other areas of the province?

The Water Security Agency is working with hundreds of other landowners on an additional 12 organized drainage projects making up more than 160,000 acres.