Sask. program to back farmyard flood protection

Saskatchewan’s plans for a $22 million emergency flood damage reduction program include an offer to help farmers build berms to protect their farmyards.

The program, announced Tuesday, will provide communities and local governments with 100 per cent support for engineering to design flood protection works and cost-share an assortment of flood protection work.

The 100 per cent funding for technical assistance applies also to “rural yard sites and country residences,” as does funding for 85 per cent of costs for berm construction to protect property on farmsteads and country residences.

“Short-term actions” such as sand bagging, clearing channels and frozen culverts are eligible for 50 per cent assistance.

Costs to test private wells and other private potable water supplies impacted by flooding will also be covered under the program, the province said.

The funding, retroactive to Jan. 1, is to back protection of “homes and permanent structures” and is “not intended to be used for the protection of farmland,” the province noted in a release.

“There are several hundred farmyards and rural residences at flood risk in rural municipalities,” Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) president David Marit said in the same release. “This program will help those individuals to protect themselves and their property.”

Rural residents needing help from the program are asked to contact their nearest Saskatchewan Watershed Authority regional office.

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