via: The Canadian Press
Published Monday, Oct. 15, 2012
The Saskatchewan government has outlined a 25-year plan that it says will protect water supplies from the source to the tap.
The 25 Year Saskatchewan Water Security Plan has seven goals:
- Sustainable Supplies
- Safe Drinking Water
- Protection of Water Resources
- Safe Dams
- Flood and Drought Damage Reduction
- Adequate Data, Information and Knowledge
- Effective Governance and Engagement
The Vision Statement of the Plan,”Water supporting economic growth, quality of life and environmental well-being” is supported by the following principles:
Long-Term Perspective: Water management decisions will be undertaken within the context of a 25-year time horizon.
Water for Future Generations: A sustainable approach to water use will protect the quality and quantity of water now and for the future.
Integrated Approach to Management: Water decisions will integrate the multiple objectives and information pertaining to the economic development, ecological, hydrological, human health, and social aspects of water, considering circumstances and needs that may be unique to a watershed or region, to achieve a balanced outcome.
Partnerships and Participation: The provincial government will facilitate collaboration in the development and implementation of water management decisions.
Shared Responsibility: All residents, communities and levels of government share responsibility for the wise use and management of water.
Value of Water: Water is essential to life and will be treated as a finite resource that is used efficiently and effectively to best reflect its economic, social, and environmental importance.
Continuous Improvement: Water management will be adaptive and supported by sound monitoring, risk assessment, evaluation, research, innovation, and best practices.
The province says conservation is critical and could be achieved through pricing strategies.
But the plan adds that new reservoirs, pipelines and canals may also be necessary to meet demand.
Water demand is highest in the southern part of the province because of industrial development such as potash mines.
Other goals include ensuring dams meet water supply and management needs safely and making sure measures are in place to respond to floods or drought.
“We want to ensure there is a sustainable water supply available to support our growth, a healthy environment and our quality of life,” Ken Cheveldayoff, minister responsible for the new Water Security Agency, said Monday.
Saskatchewan’s new Water Security Agency will report annually on how the plan is working.