Wetland / Wasteland
Coming Winter 2019
A Film by Philip Loring and Donald Selby
This film explores the challenges and conflicts surrounding agricultural water management in the Canadian Prairies. Drainage generates tens of millions of dollars through agricultural development for landowners, and has been credited with making huge tracts of lands, including much of the prairies, arable. Drainage can be an important climate change adaptation strategy. Yet, drainage can negatively affect drought risk and resilience, water quality, and biodiversity. Likewise, while a landowner may be using drainage to mitigate their own flooding issues, they may be exacerbating flood risk of their downstream neighbors. While drainage is regulated, these regulations are not always enforced, leading to conflicts in many region. Indeed, debate and conflict over drainage has been ongoing in North America for more than a century.
Conflict over drainage, particularly in Saskatchewan, is escalating. With this film, we hope to bring some clarity to the conflict and re-humanize all involved so that effective collaboration on this challenging issue can be achieved.