The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA) is encouraging rural municipalities (RMs) and Conservation and Development Area Authorities (C&Ds) across Saskatchewan to take advantage of its channel clearing grant program. Up to $1.5 million is available in 2021-22.

“We recognize the hard work of our rural communities in Saskatchewan and the impact a blocked watercourse can have, which is why we have increased support for the channel clearing program,” said Fred Bradshaw, minister responsible for the Water Security Agency. “The Water Security Agency has streamlined the program this year and removed barriers to simplify the application process to better support our clients.”

The channel clearing program assists RMs, C&Ds, and Watershed Associations to remove debris, silt, and beaver dams from natural watercourses to lessen the possibilities of blockages that can cause flooding to roadways and agricultural land.

“Keeping our natural waterways clear of obstructions like sediment and beaver dams is not only good for rural Saskatchewan and producers, but it also helps protect rural infrastructure,” said Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities. “SARM welcomes the WSA’s expanded funding for channel clearing this year and making the process to apply easier, which will certainly benefit communities in Saskatchewan.”

WSA originally budgeted $600,000 over two years for channel clearing. The increase in funding announced in March allowed for the program to grow to $500,000 for the 2020-21 fiscal year. In 2021-22, funding increased again to $1.5 million for a total investment of $2 million over two years.

Constructed works for drainage or moving water are not eligible for the rebate. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2022.

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More information about the program is available here.

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