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Pre-Approvals – Special Projects

The Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) supports the development of secure and sustainable water sources for agriculture use, including use for value-added agricultural processing. All applicants must demonstrate an agricultural or value-added use for the water.

A special project is a water development project that is considered to have high public benefit. The special projects stream is not an alternative for producer applicants whose standard water development projects exceed the rebate maximum. Applicants must submit a clear description and rationale for the project. Pre-approval is required for special projects, such as the development of community wells by rural municipalities or First Nations.

All special projects must still be for agricultural use, which is defined as crop spraying, livestock watering (that results in taxable income from livestock sales), use in value-added agricultural processing or greenhouse production.

Applicants are encouraged to assess their project against the program criteria and review program eligibility.

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1. Eligible Projects

Projects that may be considered a Special Project include:

  • Community water development project for agricultural use. (e.g. small‐diameter and large‐diameter wells in conjunction with a community tank loading facility, dugouts in conjunction with a community tank loading facility or increasing storage capacity at an existing community tank loading facility to reduce tank loading times).
    • Rural municipalities and First Nations are eligible to construct community water developments.
  • A water development project for a value-added agricultural business.
  • Connection to a non-potable rural water utility (multi-user pipeline) will be considered and approved on a case by case when justified. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that attempts to develop other non-potable water resources (e.g. dugouts or wells) have not been successful.
    • Water must be for agricultural use. Yard, shop and household use do not qualify.
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2. Funding Details

Special Projects are eligible for a rebate of 50 per cent of pre-approved eligible costs to a maximum payment of $150,000, over the life of the program.

Program payments are subject to a minimum rebate of $250. The minimum claim amount is $500.

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3. Applicant Eligibility

You are eligible to apply for pre-approval if:

  • You are a Saskatchewan agricultural producer (individual, partnership or corporation), value-added agricultural business, rural municipality or First Nation in Saskatchewan;
  • For individual applicants, you are at least 18 years of age;
  • You can demonstrate a minimum $50,000 of gross farm income or income derived from processing primary agricultural commodities in Saskatchewan in the year of application or the year prior to the application. Note: Income requirement does not apply for rural municipalities; and
  • Producers who own, lease or rent property where livestock and poultry are grown, bred, kept, raised, displayed, assembled or disposed of require a Saskatchewan Premises Identification (PID) number.
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4. Before You Apply

Pre-approval is required for all special projects. Applicants must meet all regulatory requirements for water development projects. If all required approvals are not obtained, the project will be ineligible for funding.

Approvals may include:

  • If the applicant is a rural municipality, they must provide a copy of the resolution from council that authorizes the project and application to the Program.
  • Aquatic Habitat Protection Permit (AHPP) from the Water Security Agency prior to commencing the project if the work will occur in or near water bodies.
  • Saskatchewan Water Security Agency Groundwater and/or Surface Water Approval. A Water Rights Licence from the Water Security Agency is required for:
    • Water development projects where annual usage exceeds 5,000 cubic metres (1.1 million gallons); and
    • Pipeline projects where the point of diversion (water source) or point of use (water distribution) is not on land owned or controlled by the applicant.
  • Approval from the rural municipality is required if a pipeline crosses road allowances.
  • Written authorization from the land owner is required if a project is constructed on land not owned by the applicant.
  • Any other standards or approvals as required by law.

It is the responsibility of the producer to determine if a project is located in an environmentally sensitive area. The online mapping tool is available to assist producers in recognizing if their project(s) is/are located in these areas.

For environmentally sensitive land, authorization and consent is required when the project is located on land, or is crossing land, with the following designations:

  • Any Crown lease lands designated under The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act (WHPA) require project approval prior to commencing work. Please contact your local Ministry of Agriculture Lands Branch representative for more information.
  • Any private lands with a Crown Conservation Easement (CCE) registered on title require project approval prior to commencing work. Please contact the Ministry of Environment at 1-800-567-4224 for more information.
  • Any lands designated as critical habitat under the Species at Risk Act [Link to: require project approval prior to commencing work. Please email the Executive Director of South of the Divide Conservation Area Program (SODCAP) or call 306-530-1385, for more information.
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5. Eligible Expenses

Eligible expenses for special projects may include:

  • Groundwater exploration/test holes;
  • Well drilling and construction;
  • Screening and casing for wells;
  • Pumps and electrical wire to operate pump;
  • Trenching;
  • Pipelines associated with establishing a loading site;
  • Storage tanks (minimum 1,000 U.S. gallons/3,700 litres);
  • Dugout excavation;
  • In-kind labour at $22 per hour to a maximum rebate of $250;
  • In-kind machinery/equipment. Use rates established in the Farm Machinery Custom Rate and Rental Guide for class of machinery used.
  • Registration fees;
  • Consultant fees (e.g. hydro-geologist or project design);
  • For connections to non-potable rural water utilities:
    • A maximum program payment of $15,000 for multi-user pipeline subscription/ connection fees, per eligible applicant, per-approved project;
  • For community water development projects only:
    • Power installation and hook-up; SaskPower service installation is eligible to a maximum rebate of $20,000 per approved project;
    • Buildings and infrastructure associated with the well, pump house and tank loading facility; and
    • Access (road construction).
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6. Ineligible Activities or Expenses

Ineligible activities or expenses include:

  • Projects commencing prior to October 1, 2017;
  • Invoices not issued in the applicant's name;
  • Connections to potable water utilities (excludes value-added agricultural water development projects);
  • Water resources developed solely for household use or washing machinery;
  • Power service installation, hook-up, electrical wiring, generators, electrical panels, breakers, electrical connectors and other electrical devices or hardware (excludes community water development projects);
  • Gas/diesel powered water pumps;
  • Water quality enhancement systems (e.g. aeration systems, filtration systems, chlorinators, reverse osmosis, etc.);
  • Water storage tanks under 1,000 US gallons/3,700 litres and water storage tanks not connected to the project infrastructure;
  • Landscaping or removal/hauling dugout spoil piles;
  • Hauling or pumping water to fill/empty dugouts;
  • Above ground pipelines and dams;
  • In‐kind freight/mileage;
  • In‐kind materials such as rocks, sand, gravel or clay;
  • In-kind payment (e.g. trading) for third party services/supplies;
  • Used material/equipment – to be eligible, items must be purchased new from a recognized dealer;
  • Materials from inventory;
  • Materials and construction costs for pump houses (excludes community water development projects);
  • Removal and disposal of above ground structures;
  • Replacement of existing water infrastructure such as water appliances, storage tanks or water trough;
  • Seismic testing/water witching;
  • Non-permanent fencing (e.g. corral panels, bale feeders, etc.);
  • Purchase of land/property or payment of easements; and
  • Taxes, financing fees, interest or legal fees.
  • Any submissions for rebate utilizing a third-party contractor must be from a contractor who is third-party arm’s length, or the submission will be considered to be utilizing in kind labour and original invoices for all materials will be required.
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7. Apply

Special project (pre-approval) applications and claims are accepted on an ongoing basis. All applications must be submitted for approval on or before August 1, 2022.

Projects must have started on or after October 1, 2017, and be completed within 18 months of receiving project approval or by December 31, 2022, whichever is earlier.

Note: It is recommended that this application form is saved to your computer before entering in your information.

Download the Special Projects Pre-Approval Application Form

Completed application packages can be submitted by email or by mail to:

Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program
Ministry of Agriculture, Programs Branch
329 - 3085 Albert Street
Regina SK  S4S 0B1

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