Postby Oscar » Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:40 pm


[ http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/n ... -lake-area ]

Released on July 14, 2016

The Water Security Agency (WSA) will be enforcing regulations to close unapproved drainage works that currently contribute water to the Quill Lakes.

“Our government introduced new drainage regulations last fall and the Quill Lakes is a priority area where impacts to landowners around the lake need to be addressed,” Minister responsible for the Water Security Agency Herb Cox said. “This is a very complex water management situation and, while there are no easy solutions to this issue, this is one step that will help us lower the lake level and prevent future flooding.”

All landowners with unapproved drainage works that drain into the Quill Lakes are being asked to close those works before October 1, 2016. Starting immediately, WSA will be focusing on the largest unapproved drainage works in the area which cause the greatest impact. WSA will work with landowners directly to undertake inspections to confirm unapproved works and ensure plans for closure take place.

Last fall, the new Agricultural Water Management Strategy and regulations governing agricultural drainage were announced. The new drainage regulations were created after extensive online and industry stakeholder consultations. More than 500 public participants and 15 industry and environmental groups provided input into the creation of the new approach to drainage in Saskatchewan. These changes were intended to address many issues including the impacts related to flooding.

Under the new regulations, to be considered for an approval, drainage works must have an adequate outlet. The Quill Lakes are not considered an adequate outlet because of the flooding and environmental impacts. The WSA will not grant approvals for works which contribute water to the Quill Lakes. Drainage works may be eligible for approval if impacts such as flooding can be addressed while ensuring water from any project does not flow to the Quill Lakes.

In addition, WSA will be working with Ducks Unlimited (DU) Canada to eliminate or limit flows from DU projects into Quill Lakes. This includes projects at Ponass Lake and Foam Lake. WSA will work with DU to re-establish the naturally higher water levels in these wetlands to provide for additional storage and prevent more water from flowing into the Quill Lakes.

“We know the complexities of the situation at Quill Lakes and appreciate the provincial government taking action to reduce the inflow of water into the lake,” Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities President Ray Orb said. “We support the enforcement of these drainage regulations across the province and this is a key area where closing unapproved projects will have a significant benefit.”

“We appreciate the challenges the Quill Lakes has created and the action the provincial government is taking to enforce these drainage regulations,” APAS President Norm Hall said. “This will help to address the flooding issue and ultimately reduce the level of the lake.”

For more information, please visit [ http://www.wsask.ca/QuillLakes ] -30-

For more information, contact:

Patrick Boyle
Water Security Agency
Moose Jaw
Phone: 306-694-8914
Email: Patrick.Boyle@wsask.ca
Cell: 306-631-6997
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Postby Oscar » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:36 am

Province to crack down on drainage into Quill Lakes, Sask.

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon ... -1.3679549 ]

High water levels have caused flooding of roads and farmland

CBC News Posted: Jul 14, 2016 2:33 PM CT| Last Updated: Jul 14, 2016 2:53 PM CT

The Saskatchewan government will start enforcing new drainage regulations at Quill Lakes in an effort to reduce rising water levels, which have led to flooding of roads and farmland.

The provincial Water Security Agency announced today it will start enforcing regulations under the new Agricultural Water Management strategy, which was released last fall.

In recent years, heavy rain and run-off has raised the water level, sometimes to record highs, resulting in Big Quill Lake and Little Quill Lake joining and flooding roads and farmland.

The government developed a proposal to build a diversion to Last Mountain Lake, but it was abandoned in 2015 due to widespread public concern.

Now the province is giving landowners until Oct. 1 to cease all projects that drain into the lake.

Herb Cox, who is the minister responsible for the WSA, said it was a priority area for the province.

"This is a very complex water management situation and, while there are no easy solutions to this issue, this is one step that will help us lower the lake level and prevent future flooding," he said.

The WSA said it would be focusing on the largest unapproved drainage works causing the greatest impact.

- - -

Related Stories

■ Proposed Quill Lakes diversion project scrapped

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon ... -1.3232945 ]
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Postby Oscar » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:50 am

Quill Lakes flooding prevention continues despite protests

[ http://www.cjme.com/2017/10/31/quill-la ... -protests/ ]

Regina / 980 CJME Sarah Mills October 31, 2017 04:56 pm

Quill Lakes flooding prevention continues despite protests - A satellite image of The Quill Lakes area. (Google Maps)

The Quill Lakes Watershed Association continues to work on flood prevention in the area despite some vocal concerns from those downstream.

The association’s chair Kerry Holderness wants to clear up what he feels are misconceptions about what is being done to prevent further flooding.

The Quill Lakes water level has risen 22-feet in the last 13 years and both farmland and private land is being wiped out due to flooding.

In order to turn that trend around those in the area had to first create a watershed association. That was done in 2016.

Now the association has been receiving reports from the province’s Water Security Agency on what possible options exist.

Holderness has been told the best solutions are an injection well system or a diversion to Last Mountain Lake.

“We chose those options because they have the biggest option in the shortest amount of time,” Holderness said by phone Tuesday.

Feasibility studies are now underway on both options to determine the cost and how the solutions would be put into action.

Until that work is complete, no project will be approved.

But many who live downstream said these options just move the flooding elsewhere, creating further problems. Holderness has been told via social media that more studies are needed.

“This is like standing on the railroad tracks and watching a train come at you for 10 years and you decide to do another study when it’s five seconds from hitting you,” Holderness maintained.

While waiting for any decision, Holderness is looking at what short-term options can be considered. There is one natural outflow on the Quill Lakes that hasn’t yet flooded. He contends a series of gates could be used to control the flow of water.

“That was one of the big things that attracted this particular proposal because we did have the back door option that we could put it back in the Quill Lakes if there was no room in the downstream system,” Holderness explained.

That short-term option does not require an environmental impact assessment, which many have criticized. In fact, it was raised by the NDP during Question Period on Monday.

Holderness insisted the association is following all regulations and processes, but that particular option is so small it doesn’t require such an assessment.

He believed it is the way forward as they wait out Mother Nature and prevent any further problems in the water system.

“It is a major cost saving, it’s a major environmental saving and it is preparing the way for us to plan for future flood events,” Holderness maintained.

The Saskatchewan Alliance for Water Sustainability group continues to protest the plans and is holding a water ceremony next week.
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