In 2009, Watershed Planners from the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority (now the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency) launched the planning process for the Carrot River Watershed. Watershed Advisory Committees (WAC) were formed based on the geography for the region, and included Carrot River East, Carrot River West and Lenore Lake Basin. The WACs included local representatives from Rural and Urban Municipalities, First Nations, Conservation and Development Area Authorities (C&Ds), local Wildlife Federations, Resort Villages, and Regional Parks. Together with the planning team and a technical committee, the members of the WACs identified interests and issues of concern; assembled technical content; and facilitated and guided development of a Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP). The role of the technical committee was to provide expert knowledge and relevant research, and respond to specific information requests from the committee. The technical committee was made up of representatives from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Provincial Council of Agriculture Development and Diversification Boards (PCAB), Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and Weyerhauser Canada Ltd. The planning team consisted of staff from Saskatchewan Watershed Authority’s Watershed Planning and Lands Management Branch.
The watershed planning process continued from 2009 into 2011 when the Carrot River Valley Watershed Association was incorporated. In March 2012, the Carrot River Source Water Protection Plan was published and launched through a series of public open house meetings. The Source Water Protection Plan became the guiding document that charted the course of the Carrot River Valley Watershed Association, with the CRVWA addressing many of the 83 key actions within the first three years of operation.
The Carrot River Source Water Protection Plan addresses issues of concern on the watershed level. Moving into the future, the CRVWA will be working with individual communities to develop Community Based Source Water Protection Plans. Moving this planning process to a community basis will assist our local communities to address their unique water challenges, engage local residents in protecting their water resources, and provide communities with the information and tools that they need to protect and preserve source water for generations to come.