February 23, 2004

Advisory committee to play active role in protection of Sask water resources

Saskatchewan has made significant progress in implementing its long-term safe drinking water strategy, David Forbes, Environment Minister and Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority recently told the first meeting of the newly-appointed advisory committee. Its members, representing stakeholder and interest groups with wide-ranging expertise on source water issues, will play a key role in helping the Authority manage and protect Saskatchewan's water resources.

"The advisory committee will provide key input into Saskatchewan's existing water policy and in the water conservation component we are committed to release later this year," Forbes said.

He also pointed out that Saskatchewan's strategy already includes many of the specific key actions in Alberta's recently announced water strategy. The major components for Saskatchewan's water policy include source water protection and management; strengthened regulations; and sustainable water treatment solutions.

The provincial government is already implementing new drinking water regulations, drinking water quality monitoring requirements, improved access to drinking water treatment information and enhanced enforcement. The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority has also initiated watershed management and planning initiatives in seven of the highest priority watersheds in the province.

The Authority is investing $3.7 million this year and approximately $87 million over the next 20 to 30 years to assess, to rehabilitate and upgrade water management infrastructure across the province to help control the flow of water to improve water quality, ensure adequate supply, reduce the risk of flood damage, enhance recreational opportunities and maintain aquatic habitat.

More information is available from Stuart Kramer at the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, 306/694-3901.

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