Water Matters Authority

Res #: 20-11A
Number: 20
Year: 2011
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS agriculture is an important industry to the economy of this province and to feeding the world; and

WHEREAS Saskatchewan Environment was created to protect and manage Saskatchewan’s environmental and natural resources; and

WHEREAS Saskatchewan Watershed Authority’s mandate is to manage the province’s water resources to ensure a safe and reliable water supply; and

WHEREAS rural municipal councils are duly and democratically elected by the people;

BE IT RESOLVED that rural municipal councils, in consultation with the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, have the ability to make the final decision regarding water matters pertaining to agriculture, agricultural development and municipal infrastructure.

Response from Honourable Dustin Duncan, Minister of Environment:

The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority manages the province’s water resources to help improve the safety of drinking water sources and the reliability of water supplies for economic, environmental and social benefits of the residents of Saskatchewan. In rural Saskatchewan, the Authority is responsible for issuing Approvals to Operate works for water supply and drainage projects as well as issuing water rights allocations. In making decisions and issuing orders and approvals, the Authority takes into consideration the sustainability of the water supply and the impact of the project on other users. The needs of all Saskatchewan citizens and adherence to the international and inter-provincial agreements are often an important part of these decisions. Water flows across municipal boundaries, through federal lands including reserves, and across inter-provincial and international boundaries. Currently, rural municipal councils often have neither the expertise nor the capacity to issue drainage approvals or water rights.