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Water Allocations

Water hose spraying plants

Why we measure this

Reliable water supplies are essential to Saskatchewan's continued economic development and high standard of living. Water is allocated for various purposes, including agricultural, industrial, municipal and domestic use. Governing water allocations ensures the province's water resources are available for current and future generations.

What is happening

What's happening

Surface allocations by sector 2022

Usage by source and watershed 2021

The table provides a snapshot of the total volume of water allocated from surface water sources within each of the watersheds. It provides a general indication of development intensity, but is not necessarily an indication of stress on our water resources. Individual projects are reviewed on a case-by-case basis against the available water from the proposed source. This review also considers the cumulative impacts of all uses.

The Water Security Agency receives approximately 150 to 200 water allocation requests per year: 60 per cent of requests are for surface water use, 40 percent are for groundwater use.

What we are doing

The use or diversion of water in Saskatchewan is regulated by the Water Security Agency, through The Water Security Agency Act.

Requests for water allocations for various purposes, including agricultural, industrial, municipal and, in some cases, domestic use, must undergo a regulatory review and are subject to licensing and conditions to ensure water resources are managed properly.

The first step in reviewing a request to use water is an assessment of water availability at the point of diversion. The Water Security Agency completes this using the best available information to determine the suitability of the source to provide adequate water under a range of climatic conditions (such as drought) without negatively impacting existing water users, the watershed or future water management. Subject to a satisfactory review, and once all legislative requirements have been met, the agency may issue a Water Rights Licence and an Approval to Construct the necessary diversion works. Upon completion of the construction and confirmation of compliance of the project and plans, the Water Security Agency issues an Approval to Operate Works.

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