Effective Friday, September 17, a province-wide mandatory masking order will be implemented for all indoor public spaces. 

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Westside Irrigation Project

Moving Saskatchewan Forward

Map of irrigation districts
Lake Dienfenbaker Development Area

On July 2, 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Expansion Project. This 10-year, $4-billion initiative will create up to 500,000 acres of new irrigable land, providing Saskatchewan with the opportunity to diversify into high-value table crops, improve food security and boost regional economic development.

The Government of Saskatchewan has engaged Clifton Engineering Group and their partners Stantec and Associated Engineering to move the Westside Irrigation Project to the next stage of planning and engineering. The Westside Irrigation Project includes the Westside Rehabilitation and Westside Expansion areas.

"As prime consultant, our Saskatchewan-based engineering team has been assessing the potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of the project," said Wayne Clifton, CEO of Clifton Associates. "We are also identifying any mitigative measures and environmental protections that might be required for all local stakeholders and downstream residents."

An important key to the success of the project will be Clifton's extensive consultation, discussion and information sessions with community leaders, key stakeholders and First Nation and Métis leadership.

During the last few months, the Clifton team has performed preliminary work in various areas. In addition to soil testing, ground surveys were done around the existing canals, the Coteau Intake station (Westside Pump Station) and the proposed reservoir north of Conquest.

These preliminary tests will be used to verify existing ground contours, geology, groundwater conditions and to gather soil samples for canal and pump station design purposes.

This will assist in determining the size of the main canal, understanding how to control canal seepage and laying out the distribution systems needed to provide water to land deemed suitable for irrigation.

The Clifton team will also be documenting the presence of vegetation, birds and wildlife as well as water quality. The environmental information collected will be used to support future planning and approvals.

It's not a secret that agriculture is the cornerstone of our provincial economy and culture. According to Agriculture Minister David Marit, this project will not only enhance agriculture in the region, but the entire province.

"Fundamentally, irrigation will increase profit margins by improving crop yields and enabling diversification into high valued crops," said Marit. "Irrigation blocks will create the thresholds in both the agricultural productivity and consistency of supply that will be required to motivate food manufacturing companies to invest in Saskatchewan."

In addition to new job opportunities generated through the project, there will also be additional employment opportunities created in the agricultural production and processing sectors.

Overall, the Westside Irrigation Project looks to be a positive initiative on many levels for Saskatchewan.

"We are delighted to be a part of this legacy project that will further reinforce Saskatchewan's position as a leader in global food security while building on the vision made possible by the creation of Lake Diefenbaker a half a century ago," stated Clifton. "This project also allows us to proudly continue the tradition of prairie innovation, applying Saskatchewan talent to deliver a legacy project for the people of Saskatchewan."

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