Last week, Fred Bradshaw, the minister responsible for Water Security Agency, and Dana Skoropad, the MLA for Arm River, toured the Gardiner Dam and area around Lake Diefenbaker. The area is the future starting point of Saskatchewan’s proposed Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Projects.
“The Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Projects will be a defining project for our province with the potential to transform Saskatchewan for generations to come by not only increasing and [but also] diversifying our already strong agricultural sector,” said Minister Bradshaw.
“I am excited to renew the vision of this project for our province, and to see the starting point for the next fifty years of opportunity and growth for Saskatchewan producers and communities,” added Bradshaw.
The Lake Diefenbaker Projects include three projects:
- The Westside Irrigation Rehabilitation Project, which will restore and expand canals and control structures that are already in place.
- The Westside Expansion Project, which will build out from the existing network adding new irrigable acres to the province.
- The Qu’Appelle South Conveyance Project.
When complete all three projects will add up to 500,000 new irrigable acres of land increasing food security and diversifying crop types. Expanded and enhanced irrigation will also support the potential for new investments in crop science and food processing.
“It’s amazing to see up close how important Gardiner Dam and water management infrastructure is to our province each and every day,” said MLA Dana Skoropad. “Not only will the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Projects support the farmers and ranchers in the area, but it is important to the people of this province and the benefits that will be created for years to come for almost every sector of our economy.”
The Lake Diefenbaker Projects are the single-largest infrastructure project in Saskatchewan’s history, with a $4 billion investment that will generate a $40-80 billion boost to the province’s GDP over the coming years. The project will also create up to 2,500 construction jobs and will help generate new revenues for the province to invest in programs and services for Saskatchewan’s people.