Additional Funding Supports Immediate Irrigation Expansion in Saskatchewan

Additional Funding Supports Immediate Irrigation Expansion in Saskatchewan

In June of 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan announced a change to the Irrigation Development Program that will allow producers to access up to $500,000 per applicant to finance irrigation infrastructure. This program change was made possible by the additional $5 million investment in irrigation development that the government will make over the next two years.

“Increased irrigation supports the growth of diverse, high-value crops and will generate significant returns for our producers and our province,” Agriculture Minister David Marit said. “This funding will provide more support for producers to develop irrigation projects and bring the sector closer to achieving our Growth Plan goal of adding 85,000 new irrigated acres in Saskatchewan by 2030.”

This additional funding for the Irrigation Development Program will support projects that are ready for construction to be completed in the next two years. The program increases irrigation capacity by helping finance the infrastructure required to bring a secure water supply to the edge of irrigable cropland. This funding is in addition to the existing commitment under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) for this program. The maximum program payment per applicant was previously $300,000.

As of 2020, close to 10,000 acres were brought under irrigation as a result of the Irrigation Development Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

“Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) welcomes the additional funding announcement that will further enhance irrigation development in the province,” SARM President Ray Orb said. “SARM is pleased the province recognizes the need for more diversification and value-adding in the agriculture sector, in addition to the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Project that was announced previously.”

“This funding will help Saskatchewan producers advance projects that will further diversify and strengthen the province’s agriculture sector,” Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association President Aaron Gray said. “We are excited about the opportunities for irrigation in Saskatchewan.”

Irrigation supports the growth of diverse, high-value crops, which increases on-farm profitability, value-added processing opportunities, business attraction and employment.

Clifton and Associates Selected as Prime Consultant for the Westside Irrigation Project

Clifton and Associates Selected as Prime Consultant for the Westside Irrigation Project

In February 2021, Regina-based Clifton Associates Ltd. (Clifton) was selected to begin engineering work for the Westside Irrigation Project. Clifton will also be partnering with Stantec and Associated Engineering to start the Westside Projects.

Clifton’s team will complete the overall engineering preliminary design for Westside Rehabilitation and Expansion, projects 1 and 2. Their work is expected to take 12 to 18 months, and will inform the next project of work, including:

  • Preliminary engineering design for project 1 and 2

  • Geotechnical, soil suitability and geographical mapping

  • Environmental consulting services

  • Playing a central role in the extensive consultations with First Nations and other stakeholders, which will also start in the near future.

Clifton has spent more than a decade intensively involved in a variety of irrigation studies within Saskatchewan. They are among the most experienced engineering firms across Western Canada and have delivered on other large-scale infrastructure projects in the past. Clifton provides a strong team to review the environmental scope of the work required to complete the initial stages of the necessary provincial and federal regulatory approvals and permits. There will be careful assessment of potential impacts to environmental protection, downstream users, and communities, including consultations with First Nations and other stakeholders as part of the process.

Saskatchewan Announces Irrigation Projects At Lake Diefenbaker

Saskatchewan Announces Irrigation Projects At Lake Diefenbaker

Premier Scott Moe announced the first steps of a generational initiative that will fulfill the vision of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to ensure the prosperity of Saskatchewan people and irrigate up to 500,000 acres of land from Lake Diefenbaker, more than doubling the irrigable land in Saskatchewan. Project construction is expected to occur approximately over the next 10 years in three projects at a cost estimated at $4 billion.

“The announcement of this generational project will see the vision of Lake Diefenbaker completed over the course of the next decade,” Moe said. “By doubling the amount of irrigable land in our province, this project will be a massive step in completing the goals our government has set out in our 2030 Growth Plan.”

The first project is estimated to cost $500 million and will include the rehabilitation of the existing Westside irrigation canal system. This work will increase the amount of irrigable land by 80,000 acres in the area. It is considered one of the most shovel ready irrigation projects in the province with 90 per cent of the current canal already in place.

Project 2 will see the further expansion and buildout of the Westside Irrigation Project, adding an additional 260,000 acres of irrigable land. Once fully built and developed, the project will eventually see land made available for irrigation near Macrorie, Milden, Zealandia, and as far north as Delisle and Asquith.

Project 3 will see the building of the Qu’Appelle South Conveyance Project, adding an estimated 120,000 acres of irrigable land. Starting at Lake Diefenbaker and going south, the project would run near the communities of Tugaske, Eyebrow, down to Marquis and into Buffalo Pound Lake. It would provide the Moose Jaw-Regina corridor and southern Saskatchewan with a secure source of water for the next century and act as a catalyst for significant industrial expansion in the years to come.