Saskatchewan's Water Security Agency is closely monitoring the lack of precipitation this winter as it could affect irrigation province-wide.

Most reservoirs in Sask. are above average for this time of year, the southwest and west-central regions appear to be an outlier.

The water in Lake Diefenbaker is sitting at 551.88 metres of elevation, slightly down from 552.02 at this time last year. Duncairn Reservoir is also down a fraction from 806.69 metres of elevation in 2023 to 806.66 currently.

Although two of the region's largest bodies of water are at adequate levels, other parts of the region could be worrisome.

"Many of our reservoirs are in a pretty decent spot right now," Shawn Jaques, president and CEO of the Water Security Agency, said. "There is lots of winter left and that could change, we can fill and top them up or if the dry weather continues, we might have to change how we operate.

"If those conditions persist, there could be water supply issues in 2024. Maybe in the southwest."

The Alta. provincial government recently created a new Water Advisory Committee to navigate a potential drought in 2024. This includes looking at adjusting the amount of irrigation producers can use. 

Jaques believes that mitigation option is not required at this time due to higher levels of water in Sask. but also because irrigation licences are different between the two provinces.

"Communities [in Sask.] have a firm draft order, meaning that they will always be guaranteed the amount of water that's on their licence," he said. 

"What we do though is we do work with producers. We've seen in a couple of reservoirs in the southwest, the last couple of years have been dry, where we've had to cut back on the amount of water that irrigators get but we work closely with those producers... To help them manage that."

Lake Diefenbaker is Saskatchewan's largest water source for irrigation with Outlook, Riverhurst, and Lucky Lake benefiting significantly from the resource.