In the next 10 years, Saskatchewan aims to bring all farm drainage works, including previously grandfathered drains, into compliance with a new set of regulations. According to Herb Cox, minister for the province’s Water Security Agency (WSA), these new regulations are part of the development of a risk-based agricultural water management strategy.
Cox explains that the goal of the new regulations is to ensure impacts related to flooding, water quality problems and habitat loss are addressed as part of the drainage works approval process. The new regulations will be implemented in phases. The first phase of the agricultural water management strategy will be the development and refining of policies and program delivery that will be used in a series of pilot projects, before being expanded to the rest of the province. “Drainage is one of the major issues facing rural Saskatchewan, so we are pleased that government is implementing regulations meant to address deficiencies with the current system,” says Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.