Sound mitigation needed to complete Responsible Drainage Regulations

Regina, Sask. – With water management and water quality issues top of mind for many people in Saskatchewan, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is encouraging the government to develop a sound, transparent mitigation strategy to accompany the Responsible Drainage Regulations that were released yesterday.

“If a wetland must be destroyed for development, wetland mitigation protocols ensure the values and benefits that wetland provided are replaced in an appropriate manner,” says Jim Couch, DUC president. “There have been great strides forward in recognizing that responsible drainage is critical for Saskatchewan. Now, we must effectively address the need for sound mitigation. An effective mitigation process ensures that downstream flooding, water quality and impacts to infrastructure and communities are addressed whenever drainage occurs.”

“In other jurisdictions within Canada, we can see where mitigation has been effectively implemented,” states Scott Stephens, DUC’s director of regional operations, Prairie Region. “Saskatchewan needs to ensure it is meeting the well-established national standards when it comes to mitigating for wetland loss.”

Given recent flooding and water quality issues experienced across the Prairie Provinces, Alberta and Manitoba have fully recognized the vital role wetlands play in mitigating these environmental issues. Alberta has a working mitigation model and Manitoba is close to implementing its mitigation standards in the coming months.

DUC supports the development of a responsible drainage policy that is backed with sound mitigation principles to ensure wetland values are protected for the benefit of all Saskatchewan residents.

“DUC will continue to invest in conservation programming that complements other work led by our conservation partners and the government,” says Couch. “Wetlands are intrinsic to the continued economic growth and success of the province. We look forward to working with the government, our partners and the Ministry of Environment on this important file.”

DUC believes wetland protection is vital to Saskatchewan’s economic growth. Wetlands help protect our communities’ water supplies, provide recreational opportunities and enhance our province’s infrastructure. Wetlands are vital for maintaining the quality of life for all Saskatchewan residents. Without sound mitigation, we will experience ongoing challenges related to infrastructure loss, downstream water quality issues and overland flooding that causes tremendous loss to the agriculture sector.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, other non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. Learn more at ducks.ca.