Saskatchewan requiring landowners to close unapproved drainage trenches
Water levels at Big and Little Quill Lakes are receding following heavy rainfall on July 11 and 12.
Still, the provincial government is looking to enforce some rules in this watershed area, requiring all landowners with unapproved trenches that drain into the lakes to close them before Oct. 1, 2016.
It’s part of the province’s new Agriculture Water Management Strategy approved in fall 2015. Quill Lakes do not have an adequate outlet , and as such, unapproved drainages into the lakes must be halted as a stipulation of the new strategy.
Through aerial photographs and satellite images, the province has identified 100 large unapproved drainages and estimates there could be upwards of one-thousand, in total, draining into the lakes.
“By closing these unauthorized works we’re probably going to reduce the inflow into the Quill Lakes by anywhere from 20 per cent to as much as probably 35 or 38 per cent,” said Herb Cox, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Water Security
“That translates into meters, reducing the level of that lake by one-and-a-half to one-point-seven meters,” Cox said.
This area is prone to flooding, with hundreds of acres of farm land currently underwater.
Officials hope closing unapproved drainage trenches helps lower the lake levels and prevents future flooding.
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