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Saskatchewan to develop dam renewal program

The province of Saskatchewan has directed its watershed authority to develop a 10-year program for the renewal of its dams and water management infrastructure.


The province of Saskatchewan has directed its watershed authority to develop a 10-year program for the renewal of its dams and water management infrastructure.

Minister Dustin Duncan gave the direction on October 7, following the release of a special review into whether any serious damage had been done to the structures following unprecedented snowmelt run-off and rainfall in 2011.

Although the resulting report noted minor damage from the 2011

flooding that is costing $1.9 million in urgent repairs, the report’s overall conclusion was that the infrastructure had performed “extremely well under challenging circumstances.”

The reviews were carried out by the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority and included examining operations at the major dams of Gardiner, Rafferty, Alameda and Boundary. The studies were done with the help of experts at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. John Pomeroy and Dr. Kevin Shook.

Even though no serious damage was detected to the dams, the reviewers suggested that upgrades are required in the long term.  “Creating a 10-year infrastructure renewal plan will not only ensure that we have reliable water supplies and effective flood protection long into the future,” said Minister Duncan, [but also] “it will give Saskatchewan a more effective planning process for rehabilitation of our dams and water management structures.”