Province unveils new flood mitigation program, but concerns for immediate funding arise

By Aaron Schulze
August 2, 2018 - 5:01pm Updated: August 2, 2018 - 6:01pm

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the Flood Damage Reduction Program, a new long-term flood mitigation program Wednesday Aug. 1, is effective immediately.

It’s a change of focus from the province’s previous Emergency Flood Damage Reduction Program, as the government said it looks to focus on funding long term projects rather than emergency spending.

“Shifting away from an emergency flood mitigation program to a permanent program allows communities to undertake long-term flood mitigation, reducing the risk of flooding in future years.” Dustin Duncan, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency said.

Communities can apply for portions of the $1.5 million the program plans to spend in 2018 until October 30, based on structural projects, mitigation planning, flood plain mapping projects, and hydrologic/hydraulic investigations to develop risk assessments.

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) said the new program somewhat surprised them. While the new program could help for better flood preparations, there are concerns of what happens for municipalities in the meantime.

“We’d like to get some insight on what would happen if we were to have some severe flooding this weekend,” SARM president Ray Orb told northeastNOW. “We’re hopeful that in the interim before these proposals are sent in that municipalities will be protected by this program.”

SARM plans on contacting the minister’s office to make sure that’s the case.

 

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