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Water Viewed as Key to Saskatchewan's Prosperity

by 5m Editor
3 November 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1637. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1637

The Saskatchewan Agrivision Corporation suggests the infrastructure to manage water is one of the keys to the province's long term prosperity.

The Phase-1 Report on the '50-Year Water Development Plan' for the province will be examined tomorrow in Regina as part of the conference, 'Water: Drought Proofing the Economy'.

Agrivision President Red Williams says water is critical to the development of more intensive, value-added agriculture and further processing.

"We're having an obvious decline in rural populations in the prairies with larger farms and the decline of the villages.

When you drill down in that sort of thing and how you can bring it back, that means value added industries and that means food processing and other activities.

It also means repairing the infrastructure out there, particularly the water supply to centres in the rural areas.

As you work through this you soon find that really water is at the basis of the whole thing. When you look at Saskatchewan, of course, we have a good supply of water.

It's just the wrong seasons and the wrong locations so what we have to do is build reservoirs and conserve these waters and then pipe water to towns.

We have a pretty good system now to some of the parts around the Melville area and out from Diefenbaker to as far as Lanigan and Humboldt. These pipelines are working well. We need to service the rest of the country. Of course then there's irrigation.

Climate warming is coming and, with that, will come drying in the south part of the province and up into the central part.

This gives us an opportunity to irrigate and support a food production industry. Also irrigation means lots of forages and that means stabilizing livestock industries."

Williams points out Saskatchewan accounts for half of the arable land in Canada and he suggests a little more should be done with that land.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor