Saskatchewan more than doubled last year’s sign ups of the Agricultural Water Management Strategy in 2018-2019. The program started back in 2015, and more than 440,000 acres of land have been approved since.
The strategy is managed by Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency (WSA) which is an organization that
For last year, producers had a record 1,481 quarter sections (over 2.3 million acres) come into compliance, a number that is more than double from the year before and tenfold from when the program first started, the agency says. The WSA brings together the majority of government’s core water management responsibilities in one place to lead implementation of the 25 Year Saskatchewan Water Security Plan.
According to the website, the agency manages the province’s water supply, protecting water quality, handling the treatment of wastewater, and managing 69 dams and related water supply channels.
“Farmers are working hard to find effective and balanced solutions that benefit producers and communities while mitigating downstream flooding and protecting our environment,” says Dustin Duncan, minister responsible for the WSA.
“More and more producers are recognizing the increased value of organized and responsible drainage for their land and farming operations.”
More than 90 per cent (1,363) were approvals that occurred through voluntary compliance, with only eight per cent (118) coming via closures, according to a news release. The Vipond Creek Network Project, east of Glenavon, was one of the major highlights for this past year as it obtained a joint-application, signed by 47 landowners. This agreement alone, included more than 17,000 acres (across 113 quarter sections), and was developed over the past two years.
“It has been great to work with the Water Security Agency to get the drainage in our area approved with a co-ordinated plan,” says area farmer and chair of the Chester conservation and development area authority Jon Elton. “It is already going a long way to resolving a number of issues and concerns that have affected many producers in our community for a long time.”