Pipeline and Water System Funding

Res #: 8-11A
Number: 8
Year: 2011
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

WHEREAS the Agri-Environment Services Branch of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) responsibilities and funding are being reduced in rural Saskatchewan; and

WHEREAS there is a broad need for rural pipelines and water systems; and

WHEREAS funding is being transferred out of Agri-Environment Services Branch (PFRA) activities and into provincial hands;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM ask the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture to make grants available to utility boards, multi-user and user pipelines.

Response from Honourable Bob Bjornerud, Minister of Agriculture:

The province-wide Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) provides up to $52.8 million in assistance over four years for water infrastructure development in rural Saskatchewan. On March 18, 2011, along with Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, I announced enhancements to FRWIP to help farmers, ranchers and RMs develop multi-user pipelines. The FRWIP program will now reimburse applicants for up to 50 per cent of all eligible costs associated with developing multi-user pipelines, including mainline construction, to a maximum of $15,000. Previously, program funding for multi-user pipelines was restricted to specific installation and hook-up costs, making it difficult for some applicants to develop this water resource. This new enhancement is retroactive to April 1, 2009. 

Under FRWIP, producers are eligible to receive funding of up to 50 per cent of the eligible costs, to a maximum total of $60,000, for developing wells, dugouts and pipelines. Saskatchewan RMs and Indian Bands are eligible to receive funding of up to two-thirds of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $150,000. The deadline to complete projects is March 31, 2013.

As FRWIP is a cost-shared program under Growing Forward, requirements of the Growing Forward agreement necessitate that applicants earn a substantial portion of their income from farming and have an agricultural use for the water. As a result, non-agriculture users, including utility boards, are not eligible for funding for water development projects, including multi-user pipelines. However, individual producers participating in proposed pipeline projects are eligible for funding.