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Well Decommissioning and Special Projects Pre-Approval

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

Agricultural use is defined as crop spraying, livestock watering (that results in taxable income from livestock sales) or greenhouse production.

Pre-approval is required for well decommissioning activities and special water development projects.

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


1. Funding Rebate Details

Well Decommissioning projects are eligible for a rebate of 90 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum payment of $10,000 per project.

Special projects are eligible for a maximum rebate of 50 per cent of pre-approved eligible costs to a maximum payment of $150,000.


2. Applicant Eligibility

You are eligible to apply for the rebate if:
  • You are a Saskatchewan agricultural producer (individual, partnership or corporation), Agri-Business( including value-added processing), Rural Municipality or First Nations Band.
  • You are at least 18 years of age.
  • You file income tax demonstrating a minimum $50,000 of gross farm income in Saskatchewan in the year of application or the year prior to the application.

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.


3. Before You Apply

Pre-approval is required for all well decommissioning and 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:

  • 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).
    • 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 if a pipeline crosses road allowances.
  • Written authorization from the land owner if project is constructed on land not owned by the applicant.
  • Any other standards or approvals as required by law.

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 for a listed species at risk 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.
  • 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.

4. Eligible Expenses

Well Decommissioning

Eligible activities may include:

  • Excavation (removing casing).
  • Bentonite, chlorine.
  • Gravel or clay (must be third party purchase).
  • Costs related to well decommissioning including sealing and capping waterwells by a registered well driller.

The following eligibility parameters also apply:

  • Small diameter wells must be decommissioned by a registered well driller with expertise in well decommissioning and comply with Water Security Agency (WSA) recommended practices and comply with Water Security Agency (WSA) recommended practices.
  • Large diameter or bored well decommissioning pre‐approval worksheet must be completed and attached to FRWIP application.
  • A post‐construction WSA Well Decommissioning worksheet must be completed and submitted with FRWIP claim and signed by the landowner.

Special Projects

A special project is defined as a project to develop a secure and sustainable water supply that is not a typical dugout, pipeline or well project. 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.

Examples of projects that may be considered are:

  • Rural water connections (multi-user pipelines where dugouts and wells are not feasible or of sufficient water quality):
    • A maximum program payment of $15,000 per eligible applicant (multi-user pipeline subscription/ connection fees) per approved project;
    • Potable or non-potable water for agricultural use (livestock watering, value-added processing, etc.) will be considered and approved on a case by case basis when justified; and
  • Community water development projects for agricultural use (i.e. small‐diameter and large‐diameter wells in conjunction with a community tank loading facility, dugouts in conjunction with a community tank loading facility, increasing storage capacity at an existing community tank loading facility to reduce tank loading times);
    • SaskPower service and associated electrical costs to a maximum rebate of $20,000 per approved project.

5. Ineligible Activities or Expenses

Ineligible activities or expenses include:

  • Projects commencing prior to October 1, 2017.
  • Invoices not issued in the applicant's name.
  • 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.
  • Gas/diesel powered water pumps.
  • Water quality enhancement systems (e.g. aeration systems, filtration systems, chlorinators, reverse osmosis, etc.).
  • Water meters, 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, gravel or clay.
  • In-kind payment (e.g. trading) for third party services/supplies.
  • Used material and infrastructure – to be eligible new items and infrastructure must be purchased from a reputable dealer.
  • Materials from inventory.
  • Materials and construction costs for pump houses.
  • Removal and disposal of above ground structures.
  • Replacement of existing water infrastructure such as water appliances, storage tanks or water troughs.
  • Seismic testing/water witching. Non-permanent fencing (e.g. corral panels, bale feeders, etc.).
  • Purchase of land/property or payment of easements.
  • Taxes, financing fees, interest or legal fees.

6. Apply

Well-decommissioning and 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 completed 18 months following approval or by December 31, 2022.

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

Download the Pre-Approval Application Form

Download the WSA Bored Well Decommissioning Pre-approval Worksheet

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

Ministry of Agriculture, Programs Branch
329 – 3085 Albert Street
Regina SK S4S 0B1

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