The Saskatchewan Conservation and Development Association will receive $5 million in provincial funding
By Diego Flammini
Saskatchewan’s provincial government is helping an organization bring more farmers into compliance when it comes to drainage and water management regulations.
Yesterday, during the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities annual convention in Saskatoon, Sask., Premier Scott Moe announced his government’s investment of $5 million into the Saskatchewan Conservation and Development Association (SCDA).
“This investment will ultimately allow more local producers to take greater responsibility over local water projects, providing them with the professional help and assistance they need,” Moe said in a statement.
The SCDA governs over 96 conservation area authorities and districts, as well as 13 water association boards that collectively cover about 4.5 million acres of farmland.
The funding will help the organization with such work as project development, engineering and legal support, said Cliff Lowenberger, president of the SCDA.
“We’re hoping we can really make a difference,” he told Farms.com. “In order to comply with water security regulations, you need to have (the system) engineered, and the cost of engineering is huge. We’ll need project managers and other qualified people to assess what needs to be done as well.”
The provincial support will also help the SCDA engage with producers about the Agricultural Water Management Strategy, Lowenberger said.
“With the water management strategy coming into play, I wanted our organization to have special meetings to discuss this. Nut we had no funds for it,” he said. “This funding is so critical and we’re really appreciative of the commitment to agriculture.”
Farm groups are confident rural communities will benefit from the government’s SCDA funding.
“We believe that the SCDA has the skillset and credibility with producers to improve water management on the rural landscape,” Todd Lewis, president of Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, said in a statement.