Nine Saskatchewan districts Ag minister says the districts could operate the projects more efficiently
Nine Saskatchewan irrigation districts might inherit provincial irrigation works.
Agriculture minister Lyle Stewart sent a letter to each district Nov. 20 suggesting they begin talking about what to do with pumping stations, canals, pipelines and other equipment.
“We don’t necessarily want cash money for them, but we would like to get out of operating them through government employees,” he said in an interview.
Stewart said the districts are already paying the operating costs but can probably take over the actual operation and be more efficient.
“We think our role in irrigation at this stage of the game is in expansion, and supplying the water and some major works that are partly irrigation and partly domestic water and commercial water,” he said.
The province would retain the M1 canal, which is the major supply canal from Lake Diefenbaker.
Stewart said the works in question are in good condition for the most part.
“There is one pipe facility that is suffering some premature failure and we’re making it clear to that irrigation district that we’ll certainly be around to help them with that because it’s just not living up to the life expectancy that everyone had hoped for it,” he said.
There is no firm timeline in place for the transfers.