Saskatchewan - 2012 Policy Information  Saskatchewan Shield

Saskatchewan is considered to have abundant supplies of high quality water. However, the vast majority of surface water supplies are located in northern Saskatchewan, and the majority of the population resides in the southern half of the province. In the populated southern portion of the province, about 11.3 percent of water from the Saskatchewan River Basin is allocated for use in agriculture, communities, industry, mining, thermal power, and oil/gas. Drought is a frequent occurrence in the prairies, which places considerable strain on the agricultural sector in particular. Saskatchewan recently updated it’s plumbing code regulation to clarify the requirements and approval process for water reuse systems. The province’s “Go Green” campaign offers toilet rebates province wide.

Use the links below to jump to a specific question:

Q1. Agencies Q9. Permitting Q17. Technical Assistance
Q2. Toilet Regulations   Q10. Drought Plans Q18. Volumetric Billing  
Q3. Showerhead Regulations Q11. Conservation Plans Q19. Metered Connections 
Q4. Urinal Regulations Q12. Authority to Approve Plans Q20. ET Microclimate Information  
Q5. Clothes Washer Regulations Q13. Plan Update Frequency Q21. Efficiency Strategy
Q6. PRSV Regulations Q14. Planning Framework Q22. Alternative Sources
Q7. Building or Plumbing Codes Q15. Implementation Requirements Additional Information
Q8. Water Loss Q16. Funding for Conservation






  1. What provincial ministry, department or agencies are in charge of drinking water conservation/efficiency?

    Water Security Agency 

    Saskatchewan Water Management Agencies Roles and Responsibilities
  2. Does the province have a water consumption regulation for toilets that is more stringent than the federal standard?  

    Neither the federal nor Saskatchewan governments have a regulation for toilets at the point of sale.

  3. Does the province have a water consumption regulation for showerheads that is more stringent than the federal standard? 

    Neither the federal nor Saskatchewan governments have a regulation for showerheads at the point of sale.

    Although provincial building and plumbing codes can require water efficiency standards in new construction and renovations, there is to date no federal regulation for mandating the water consumption/efficiency of showerheads at the point of sale.
  4. Does the province have a water consumption regulation for urinals that is more stringent than the federal standard?

    Neither the federal nor Saskatchewan governments have a regulation for urinals at the point of sale.
  5. Does the province have a water consumption regulation for clothes washers that is more stringent than the federal standard? 


    Minimum water efficiency standards for commercial and residential clothes washers are established through Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, limiting the Minimum Modified Energy Factor to greater than 35.68 L/kwh/cycle for capacity > 45 Land to greater than 18.4 L/kWh/cycle for capacities < 45 L.

  6. Does the province have a water consumption regulation for pre-rinse spray valves that is more stringent than the federal standard?  


    Minimum water efficiency standards for pre-rinse spray valves are established through Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, limiting the flow rate to less than 6.1 litres per minute at 60 Psi water pressure as of January 1, 2012.

  7. Does the province have mandatory building or plumbing codes requiring water efficient products that exceed the federal standard? 

    On October 1, 2011, Saskatchewan adopted the 2005 National Plumbing Code of Canada with some Saskatchewan amendments including allowing and clarifying the process for approval for water reuse.

    An innovative partnership with Saskatchewan Health, Saskatchewan Environment, and Saskatchewan Enterprise and Innovation created a Water Recycling and Reuse Advisory Group to develop a process for the approval of grey water systems and other water recycling technologies. However, this process in on hold pending development of national standards for greywater reuse.

    The National Building and Plumbing Codes of Canada are model codes. They are issued by the Institute for Research and Construction (IRC), a part of the National Research Council of Canada. As model codes, they have no legal status until it is adopted by a jurisdiction that regulates construction. The Provinces and Territories of Canada are allowed to adopt parts or all of the code and to alter the code as they see fit.
    As of 2005 the National Plumbing Code does not explicitly mandate the use of water efficient fixtures – instead it references the ASME A112.18.1-2005 / CSA B125.1-2005 standards which dictate maximum flush volumes for toilets of 13.2 litres, maximum flow rates of 8.3 litres per minute (Lpm) for lavatory and kitchen faucets, and 9.5 Lpm for showerheads. 
  8. Does the province have any regulations or policies for water utilities regarding water loss in the utility distribution system?  


  9. Does the province require conservation activities as part of its water permitting process or water right permit?


    Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment is the principle regulator of municipal waterworks and all privately owned waterworks that have a flow rate of 18,000 litres or more per day. The Ministry of the Environment regulates operation of waterworks including setting standards for quality, testing, and reporting through The Water Regulations, 2002 (amended in 2007). 
  10. Does the province require preparation of drought emergency plans by water utilities or cities on any prescribed schedule?  


  11. Does the province have a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation/efficiency separate from drought emergency plans?   


  12. Does the province have the authority to approve or reject the conservation plans? 

    N/A because no plans are required.
  13. How often does the province require the water utilities to submit a potable water conservation plan (not part of a drought emergency plan)? 

    N/A because no plans are required.

  14. If the province has a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation separate from drought emergency plans, is there a framework or prescribed methodology?

    N/A because no plans are required.
  15. Does the province require water utilities to implement conservation measures, beyond just the preparation and submittal of plans? 

    N/A because no plans are required.

  16. Does the province offer financial assistance to utilities, cities, or counties for urban water conservation programs such as a revolving loan fund? Grants? Bonds? Appropriations?  Bonds?  Appropriations?


    The Go Green Fund offered through the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Environment focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency, clean energy, and water efficiency projects. The Toilet Replacement Rebate Program offered through the Go Green Fund offers a rebate of $50 for each inefficient toilet flushing with more than 13 litres that is replaced with an efficient model flushing with 6 litres or less. The program is in effect from January 1, 2009 until December 31, 2012. Thirty municipalities have partnered with the province to top up the provincial rebate program and increase uptake in their area.

    Saskatchewan offers a PST exemption on all energy star appliances, including clothes washers and dishwashers.

    Canada does not have a revolving fund for infrastructure loans. Federally, the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) provides grants for up to 50% of project costs, or below-market, low interest loans of up to 80% of project costs. FCM is an advocacy organization; however the Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) with $550 million to establish the GMF program.

    The GMF funds municipal projects and studies, which have included feasibility studies of water conservation programs, water distribution system leak detection and control projects, plumbing retrofit programs, wastewater recycling, and sustainable community plans involving water conservation. In 2011, water conservation projects that reduce water use by more than 20% are a funding focus.

    The Building Canada plan is the primary mechanism in Canada for funding water and wastewater infrastructure, and encompasses a number of funds including provincial and municipal base funding, gas tax funds, and the Building Canada fund. Over half of the funding under the Building Canada plan is provided as base funding to municipalities, and the funds are generally administered by the provinces. The Building Canada fund promotes long-term funding of water infrastructure projects, including projects designed to improve conservation of water. Funding focuses on improved treatment standards that emphasize the protection of human health. The projects are required to be supported by measures that improve the management of sources of drinking water, reduce demands, and improve the management of drinking water infrastructure.

    All projects are cost shared, generally in equal thirds between federal/provincial/municipal governments. The Building Canada fund operates through two components: the Major Infrastructure Component (MIC) that targets large strategic projects of national and regional significance, and the Communities Component that focuses on projects in communities with populations of less than 100,000.

    To date, funded projects have focused on centralized infrastructure as opposed to conservation efforts, with the exception of metering. Capital cost funding projects must result in a tangible capital asset. Planning costs are also eligible, which could potentially support the development of water conservation plans.
  17. Does the province offer technical assistance for urban water conservation programs? 

  18. Does the province require volumetric billing?

  19. What percentage or number of publicly supplied water connections (residential and nonresidential) are metered in your province?

    98.9% residential and 98.2% commercial

    Municipal Water Use 2009 Summary Tables 

  20. Does the province provide ET microclimate information for urban landscapes? 


  21. Does the province have a water conservation and efficiency strategy?


  22. Does the province have standards for alternative water sources?


    Additional Information:

    Saskatchewan (1997) Plumbing and Drainage Regulations

    Saskatchewan (2009) Toilet Rebate Partnering Municipalities

    Gibbon, W (2008) Who uses water-saving fixtures in the home - Canada

    Environment Canada (2011) 2009 Municipal Water Use Statistics

    Environment Canada (2011) Municipal Water Pricing Report

    Alberta Environment (2007) Water Use in North Saskatchewan River Basin