On July 27, 2021, the Water Security Agency (WSA) along with Clifton, Stantec and Associated Engineering (Prime Consultant) hosted an open house at the Dakota Dunes Resort in the Whitecap Dakota First Nation. The event provided an opportunity to share information with First Nations and Métis leadership on the preliminary studies being completed on the Westside Irrigation Project, as part of the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Projects.
A total of 31 participants, representing five First Nations and six Métis Locals or organizations, attended the open house. In addition to watching drone footage of the existing Westside Irrigation Project Main Canal, participants were also able to connect and interact with representatives from the WSA, government ministries and the Prime Consultant Team while reviewing project information displays. The displays are available HERE.
The main discussions centered around the economic impact of the project, employment opportunities, environmental issues, and potential effects on the long-term water supply. The information provided focused on the rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure and the expansion of the existing Westside Irrigation Project, built in the 1970s.
The Westside Rehabilitation Project is a great opportunity to upgrade the existing infrastructure with the potential to expand irrigation within the province. The rehabilitation work will increase the amount of irrigable land by 80,000 acres in the project area. The Westside Expansion Project will also add 260,000 acres irrigable land.
The feedback and discussion items from the open house will be considered when developing the proposed design options for both the Westside Rehabilitation, and Westside Expansion Projects.
The WSA and the Prime Consultant Team will continue to build meaningful relationships and explore potential opportunities with First Nations and Métis Locals and organizations in Saskatchewan.