By Justin Seward
Winnifred has been hamlet without raw water for many years.
Residents have had to haul in potable water from Bow Island or Seven Person for their residence for a while and pour into their cisterns.
Hamlet residents have been looking to get a raw water source closer to their homes for quite some time.
The County of Forty Mile discussed possibilities last summer and into early winter before the ideas got shelved for a while, until recently.
The municipality opened discussions with St. Mary’s River Irrigation District in the last couple of weeks.
“Our closest source of raw water is still going to be sourced from the St. Mary’s River Irrigation District,” said county Reeve Steve Wikkerink.
“Our planner did contact SMRID in the last week or so and had a conversation with the possibility of getting water our of the canal system. He talked a little bit to people that own land between the canal and Winnifred. They threw some ideas around of maybe different ways we can do that but no formal agreements have been done between the county, Winnifred and any land owner we’ve got to cross land for.”
Wikkerink says while raw water is high on Winnifred’s list, the reality to get raw water out there would involve the county landing another Water 4 Life grant and would have to hook into Seven Persons or Bow Island water stations.
“Yeah that’s going to be really big money,” he said.
“We’re trying to get something done. It probably won’t be a distribution system put in through the community. That will probably just make it unfeasible. We’ll probably try and get it to the community and maybe have a couple different points where they can access that water and still have to haul it back to their yards. At least it’s right in the community.”
The closest canal system for water is west of the hamlet, he added.
“We don’t know if SMRID will allow us to go back and dip straight back into the canal or if there some type of agreement or some other process they want us to do to access water. We’re not sure,” said Wikkerink.