Creating Food And Economic Security For A Stronger Saskatchewan

Creating Food And Economic Security For A Stronger Saskatchewan

Today, Premier Scott Moe announced the Government of Saskatchewan is moving forward with constructing the early works of the first 90,000 acres of the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Project. The total cost is estimated to be $1.15 billion which will be shared between the provincial government and producers who choose to participate in the project.

“Our government is happy to take the first major step in creating the most sustainable food and economic security project in Canada which will create major benefits for generations,” Moe said. “Saskatchewan can be a leader across the country and move this project forward which will provide billions in economic benefits and thousands of jobs.”

The engineering, design and engagement with stakeholders and Indigenous rights holders is expected to be done over the next 12 to 14 months, with major construction of the 90,000 acres being targeted for 2025.

“Saskatchewan has an amazing food security story to tell,” Agriculture Minister and Minister Responsible for the Water Security Agency David Marit said. “Since 2020, over 58,000 acres of irrigation have been developed, which is the largest growth since the early 1980s. The Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Project will position Saskatchewan to meet the needs of a growing population across the globe. We continue to encourage the federal government to come to the table in a more meaningful way and be part of this important project as it moves forward.”

“Today marks an important point in our history for rural municipalities, SARM applauds the provincial
government for moving this project ahead and ensuring future generations of rural residents will experience the benefits,” SARM President Ray Orb said. “This is the start of a journey to bring Saskatchewan and Canada much-needed food and economic security.”

By 2050, the world’s population is expected to increase by nearly two billion people, from eight billion to close to 10 billion. This means global food production must increase by 70 per cent to meet this demand.

“Irrigation expansion across Saskatchewan will be essential to move our province forward into the future.”

Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association Chairman Aaron Gray said. “Irrigators in this province are
committed to helping feed the world and create significant benefits for the people of Saskatchewan.”

Farmer and Rancher Survey Now Available

Farmer and Rancher Survey Now Available

The Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Projects will have a significant impact on Saskatchewan’s economy for many years to come. In addition to the thousands of construction jobs created during the build of the three projects, changes to agricultural output will create more jobs in processing and transportation. Projected returns in Gross Domestic Product are in the $40 to $80 billion range.

A survey for farmers and ranchers in the Westside Irrigation Projects area is now open for responses. This survey serves as an important input into the project planning stage for the Westside Irrigation Projects. All farmers and ranchers who own, rent or lease land in the Westside Irrigation Projects (WIP) area are encouraged to respond to the survey.

All responses will be entirely anonymous and confidential. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Please click the link below to participate.

Information Shared at Open Houses for First Nations and Métis Locals

Information Shared at Open Houses for First Nations and Métis Locals

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.