Water Security Agency provides update on northern projects

Daily Herald Staff

The Water Security Agency is working on key water infrastructure projects stretching from the Prince Albert to Meadow Lake regions.

These projects are within three Northern Saskatchewan watersheds, the Churchill River Watershed, Saskatchewan River Watershed and North Saskatchewan River Watershed.

The projects include the Cowan Lake Dam structure replacement, Candle Lake Dam structure and stoplog upgrades, and Christopher Lake outlet structure.

“A sustainable and reliable water supply is fundamental and is especially important in Northern Saskatchewan,” Water Security Agency Minister David Marit said in a release.

“As Northern Saskatchewan continues to grow, and we see increased water demands – maintaining our infrastructure is critical to continue to meet the social, environmental and economic needs for all users in these regions, including our Indigenous communities and rural municipalities.”

More than $1 million is being invested into these three projects in 2024-25.

North of Prince Albert, the Candle Lake Dam project is concluding safety upgrades to improve the operating conditions of the structure for safety to both WSA operators and the public, as well as a pedestrian walkway to provide the public dedicated space to cross the structure. WSA also installed a new system for lifting bulkheads and upgraded the fishway inlet structure. The total investment for this project is $2 million.

Southwest of Candle Lake, WSA replaced the control structure at the Christopher Lake outlet with a precast concrete structure. This will allow the structure to be operated more safely and efficiently for WSA operations staff and includes public safety fencing and guardrails. The total investment for this project is $800,000. Wrap up activities are progressing.

The Cowan Lake structure replacement, east of Meadow Lake, is the largest of the three projects. This year, WSA will begin work on the detailed design of the new Cowan Lake Dam, which will include an upgraded dam, replacing the control structure, and a riffle fishway approximately 35 meters upstream of the existing structure. This is a multi-year project and is currently in the procurement stage.

These projects were identified as a priority as part of the 10-Year Rolling Infrastructure Rehabilitation Plan – part of WSA’s effort to advance priority maintenance projects for the long-term safety and security of our citizens.

WSA is investing more than $42 million in 2024-25 to advance more than 60 water infrastructure projects with a focus on ensuring our infrastructure supports a sustainable, adaptable and reliable water supply for Saskatchewan. Since 2012, WSA has invested nearly $255 million in our province’s water management infrastructure.

The Water Security Agency brings together the majority of government’s core water management responsibilities into one place. It manages the province’s water supply, protect water quality, ensure safe drinking water and treatment of wastewater, own and manage more than 70 dams and related water supply channels, reduce flood and drought damage, protect aquatic habitat and provide information about water. The Water Security Agency also represents Saskatchewan on transboundary water issues.