Increase Funding for Channel Clearing
Number: POP 3-15A
Department: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment
WHEREAS in light of extensive moisture Saskatchewan had experienced in 2014 and the wide spread flooding that resulted; and
WHEREAS many municipalities in the province will be looking to undertake channel clearing efforts in 2015 as a proactive measure to prevent the flooding of municipal infrastructure and private agricultural property; and
WHEREAS the economic cost savings of channel clearing in terms of flood reduction far exceeds the costs involved with such efforts;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to increase the funding available for the “Channel Clearing Assistance for Rural Municipalities” program through the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency.
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT RESPONSE
The Channel Clearing Assistance for Rural Municipalities program is intended to assist Rural Municipalities with the removal of silt,debris and vegetation from natural water channels or existing drainage ditches for which they are responsible to mitigate the flooding of buildings,roadways and agricultural land. The program also offers financial assistance for the removal of beaver dams which can also obstruct the flow of water.
During wet periods, like those affecting much of the province for the past few years,the demand for grants under this program frequently exceeds its entire annual budget. However,all program applicants are provided with some level of funding to assist in their channel clearing work. The WSA makes every effort to ensure that the maximum amount of channel clearing work is completed under the program, and encourages RMs to focus on those stream channels in greatest need of the program when they are making applications for grants. This year's provincial budget does not include an increase to the budget for the Channel Clearing Assistance for Rural Municipalities Program.