Prairie Water Summit begins with $1 million pledge in funding
The Prairie Water Summit in Regina, Sask. was kicked off by federal minister Ralph Goodale, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announcing $1 million to develop a new strategy to manage water and land in the Prairie provinces.
“Weather patterns are becoming increasingly more severe and unpredictable, as we see more storms and larger floods, and longer droughts with larger wildfires that affect people and communities,” said Goodale. “The Government of Canada will work with all parties to find the best ways of managing the water available to us, and building the infrastructure necessary to provide for water quality and quantity that will serve the residents of the Prairies in future years.”
The Prairie Water Summit is led by WD, working with partners and stakeholders to identify the conditions needed to better manage water and ensure water security across the Prairies.
More severe, frequent, and costly storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires – like those seen in northern Alberta – cause debilitating cycles of too much water and then too little. Lives and livelihoods are threatened. A potential project in south Saskatchewan could become a test case to inform the strategy, and to identify options to address water security challenges in that region.
The goal is to support ongoing, coordinated action and transformative measures to promote:
- Economic growth and diversification in agriculture including the growing of food and food processing activities resulting from the Protein Industries Canada Supercluster, mining, industrial, manufacturing, and tourism and recreation sectors;
- Community resilience to adapt to increased climate volatility and contribute to social well-being; and,
- Environmental sustainability and improved water quality for the benefit of current and future generations, wildlife and aquatic species.
The Prairies-based and water-dependent plant protein industry is expected to make a $4.5 billion dollar impact and create 4,500 jobs over the next 10 years.