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New funding for Saskatchewan's WSA will benefit agricultural producers

The Water Security Agency (WSA) making a couple of key announcements last week. 

The WSA is investing nearly $600,000 in twelve new weather and soil monitoring stations in the province. 

Spokesperson Patrick Boyle says what it does is add more data and information collection to the weather.

"Not just in your normal areas like temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction and precipitation, but they also collect soil moisture and temperature data at three different depths and also some incoming solar data. So these things are really valuable to us and our forecasters as we look at our operations with forecasting water and then also any hazardous events that could happen, flooding or wildfires or hazardous material spills."

The new stations also include all-season precipitation gauges to include snowfall data over the winter months.

Starting in the fall of 2021, with the cooperation of local landowners, and in partnership with the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) twelve new weather stations were installed in areas where gaps in data gathering networks exist.

The new stations are located near Arcola, Candiac, Radville, Milestone, Francis, Quinton, Holdfast, Hazenmore, Mankota, Climax, Klintonel and Shaunavon.

Reports containing data from these stations are updated daily and archived every month and can be found online here. 

Minister Responsible for WSA Jeremy Cockrill says managing Saskatchewan's water resources is at the heart of what the Water Security Agency does every day to ensure we have quality water for Saskatchewan communities, agricultural producers and industry.

The WSA also announced $700,000 for Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers to advance responsible agricultural water management projects. 

Cockrill says effective water management may be one of the most important factors driving Saskatchewan's growth in the next 20 years.

"This funding will help address barriers producers experience when working toward an approved project that will strengthen their operations while supporting healthy watersheds and protecting infrastructure."

The new Agriculture Water Management Fund is a pilot program. 

Boyle says throught the program funding is available to help farmers and ranchers create responsibly managed and sustainable agricultural water management networks.

"Applicants can receive up to $95,000 per project based on a cost-sharing approach. It can be used for qualified persons support, technical and engineering costs, and mitigation and rehabilitation works for new agricultural water management projects. "

SaskFSA President Myles Thorpe says the financial support is critical. 

"This funding will help many producers across Saskatchewan responsibly manage water challenges and help advance more coordinated agricultural water management projects that will benefit everyone." 

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