Best When Managed

SaskFSA believes that land and water resources are best when managed.

Land is a farmer’s most valuable asset – without it they have nothing and without the ability to manage the land, all other inputs, and technology are potentially wasted. Responsible AG water management (drainage) is a large part of land development and improvement. In addition to soil health, drainage is a very effective tool for increasing farm efficiency and productivity.


As of May 2017, ALL water management projects (drainage) in SK require an approval (regardless of when of when they were built). The policy around the Ag Water Management Strategy is still being developed. SaskFSA’s priority is to work with government to develop simple, practical and effective policy that enables progressive agriculture. While approved drainage is the ultimate measure of success, currently the application process is complicated and restrictive. SaskFSA is the chair of the provincial Agricultural Water Management Policy Advisory Committee (AWMPAC), working with the ministry and other industry stakeholders to improve and further develop the policy.

Drainage policy and the application process are currently under consultation with stakeholders across the province.  If you are interested in obtaining a drainage approval we recommend the following and refer to WSA information below.

  • Become a member of SaskFSA to receive regular updates on the development of the drainage policy. Contact us if you have any concerns or questions.
  • Be responsible. Water resources are always best when managed. Understand your project – map the contributing water flow area, flow controls and potential adequate outlet (AO).
    • Evaluate existing / required flow and erosion controls
    • Identify sensitive or problem areas
  • Coordinate with all landowners that are involved / affected by the water flow of your existing drainage.
  • AO – be prepared to justify what makes sense, educate yourself on what an AO is (in the event of an application WSA is currently designated to make the final decision on AO).
  • Communicate effectively, work together and be respectful. It is recommended to determine a project lead or coordinator (landowner or QP).
  • Specify type(s) of water management works – surface and/or tile drainage, flow controls, etc. Incorporate all existing and planned drainage into the drainage plan.
  • Determine a maintenance plan for your water management project
  • Agriculture consultants understand your business and how water drives agriculture. Following are some excellent resources:
    • CropPro Consulting offer various mapping services, including drainage mapping.
    • Easy to use, drainage planning mapping tools are offered through Green Aero Tech.
    • Tile drainage installers such as Precision Drainage Solutions (are an excellent resource for technical knowledge of water flows, project design and new ideas.
    • Equipment manufacturers such as Pattison Ag and Rocky Mountain Equipment have specialized water management divisions.
    • Contact us if you have services to offer or require more info on contacts mentioned here.

Drainage Research/Resources


We bring the knowledge of a wide range of experts on land and water management together. SaskFSA is the chair of the provincial Agricultural Water Management Policy Advisory Committee (AWMPAC).

If you decide to proceed with the application process at this time, we have compiled a Drainage Application Checklist of items to consider when applying for a drainage approval. Contact us if you are interested in knowing more about how to be prepared before you begin the Drainage Application process.


The Water Security Agency (WSA) website provides an overview of the Drainage Application Process.

Qualified Persons (QPs) are available to assist you with the technical aspects of the drainage design and completing the application form. QPs are also very helpful with the overall communication process. Please keep in mind that communication is essential for successful projects are it starts with you as the applicant.

To begin an application you must contact your local WSA office.


The Saskatchewan Conservation and Development Association (SCDA) is responsible for Conservation and Development Area (C&D) formation, governance support, drainage project development, qualified person support, project engineering, legal and mediation support as well as LiDAR programs.

Establishing a C&D can provide a means for landowners to work together in developing agricultural water management projects.  C&D’s provide local governance over local water management issues. Landowners have a significant amount of knowledge regarding the landscape, water movement and its impact. C&D’s utilize this knowledge to develop functional and sustainable projects that provide flood control and protect the productivity of the land.

How to Apply

NOTE: The AG Water Management Strategy is still in development phase. Be confident in your knowledge of the land, work with your neighbours and communicate with your local rural municipality if applicable. Reach out to a SaskFSA Board Director in your area if you require assistance.

SaskFSA Drainage Application Checklist 

QP Checklist

WSA Drainage Approval Steps