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Irrigation Drainage Approval Process within Irrigation Districts

Saskatchewan Agriculture provides technical assistance to support irrigation drainage projects in irrigation districts.

As defined under The Water Security Act, drainage works are any "facility or other action constructed, done, operated or intended for the removal or lessening of the amount of water from land and includes the deepening, straightening, widening and diversion or the course of a stream, creek or other watercourse and the construction of dykes."

“Facilities” for drainage often include ditches, dykes and pumping works.

As part of the irrigation drainage development process, a soils report and Irrigation Certificate must be obtained from the Crops and Irrigation Branch before a district can legally enter into a Water Service Agreement. The soils report will indicate that the land in question is irrigable and stipulate any RECOMMENDED or REQUIRED drainage.

If the land is irrigable but drainage is RECOMMENDED, the Crops and Irrigation Branch will issue an Irrigation Certificate and provide engineering technical assistance for the system design.

If the land is irrigable but drainage is REQUIRED, then drainage requirements must be met before the Crops and Irrigation Branch will issue an Irrigation Certificate and provide engineering technical assistance. 

Any construction and operation of new drainage works within an Irrigation District requires approval from that Irrigation District, who may in turn consult with the Crops and Irrigation Branch for technical assistance. 


1. Request for Technical Assistance

Obtain a "Request for Technical Assistance" application form from your Irrigation District Office and submit the completed application form to the Irrigation District Office, ensuring the "drainage" box is checked and a rough sketch and description of your proposed development is provided.


2. District has approved request

If an adequate drainage outlet is identified and the Irrigation District approves the project request, the Request for Technical Assistance will be forwarded to Crops and 
Irrigation Branch. They will guide and assist you in:
  1. Obtaining agreements from all affected downstream landowners from the point of diversion off your property to an approved drainage outlet;
  2. Obtaining any regulatory approvals required including but not limited to the Water Security Agency, Ministry of Environment, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Rural Municipality; and
  3. Registering notices against the appropriate land title(s), which will tie the drainage development to the land.

3. Requirements have been met

When all regulatory requirements have been met, the Crops and Irrigation Branch will provide engineering technical assistance for the survey, design and system development. Once the drainage works have been completed to the satisfaction of the Crops and Irrigation Branch, an Irrigation Certificate will be issued.

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