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Sask. boosts water funding for dry southwest

The Saskatchewan government will use AgriRecovery funds to boost funding for ranchers and farmers in the parched southwest to build infrastructure to supply water.

Provincial Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud announced Tuesday in Swift Current that producers in 65 drought-designated rural municipalities can get boosts in aid available through the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) for projects completed by Nov. 1, 2009, if they apply by Dec. 3 this year.

According to the province, the additional funding through the federal/provincial AgriRecovery program will support:

  • an increase in funding for on-farm projects from 50 per cent up to 65 per cent of eligible costs;
  • an increase in funding for community well projects from 66 per cent up to 85 per cent of eligible costs;
  • the installation of power, to a maximum payment of $30,000; and
  • generators added as an eligible on-farm cost.

The province said it will also provide additional support for dugouts.

“Given the ongoing dry conditions facing many Southwest Saskatchewan producers, enhancements to the program were needed,” Bjornerud said in a release. “Some producers and rural municipalities have been unable to participate in the program up until now, due to the significant costs associated with many of these projects.”

All applications will be automatically eligible to be topped up to these new compensation levels, the province said. Application forms are available online.

Ranchers and farmers who have been approved for a project under the Canada-Saskatchewan Water Supply Expansion Program (CSWSEP) are reminded to complete and return their information authorization form to the CSWSEP office as soon as they receive it, to ensure their project is enrolled in the program, the province said. Those forms can be had at PFRA offices or by calling 1-800-667-8567.

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