Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation Plant Renewal Project – Authorization to Borrow $55M

Media Release

Regina, Moose Jaw (Thursday May 26, 2022) - The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation (BPWTC) has received authorization from the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw, enabling the Corporation to borrow up to an additional $55M, for construction of the renewed water treatment plant.

“We want to thank the two Cities for approving our request for borrowing authorization. This approval means we will be able to proceed with the construction on the renewal of the Water Treatment Plant, almost immediately,” said Ryan Johnson, CEO, BPWTC.

The intent of the renewal project is to ensure the plant continues to meet its mandate of providing the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw with safe and reliable drinking water well into the future.

The Corporation has been working with a joint venture team following a public procurement process since early 2020 on the project design development for the plant renewal. The costs for the project, had been impacted by several factors. The COVID 19 pandemic, supply chain, climate change, global logistics bottlenecks, the conflict in Ukraine, inflation and the increased cost of borrowin all significantly affected the pricing of project components, resulting in an increase in the projected project cost of $72.8M. The authorization to borrow up to $55M with the Corporation’s reserves will cover the increased expenses.

With the authorizations in place to borrow the necessary funds, BPWTC is now able to announce the awarding of the construction services contract for the Plant Renewal Project.

“I am pleased today to announce that the Graham-AECON team can start the construction phase of the BPWTC Plant Renewal Project,” said Johnson. “This team has worked very closely with us in a collaborative manner on the development of the design for nearly 2 years. We are extremely happy with the work they have done, and we are looking forward to working with them on the
construction on this renewed plant,” he said.

The awarding of this contract means that construction on the Plant Renewal Project will begin in June 2022.

“This is very exciting news for all of us with the Corporation, and for the more than 260,000 people we serve. The renewal of this plant will enable us to continue being a leader in the delivery of high- quality drinking water for our customers, for years to come,” said Johnson.

For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson CEO, BPWTC (306) 631-3362
Virginia Wilkinson Communications, (306) 530-9862


The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation (BPWTC) is a non-profit corporation, governed by an independent Board of Directors. The Corporation was formed in January 2016 through the Unanimous Membership Agreement by the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw, which have jointly owned the Plant since its inception.

The plant was commissioned in 1955 following extensive work with the federal and provincial governments, and the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw. The plant draws water from Buffalo Pound Lake, a shallow man-made reservoir on the Qu'Appelle River. Water levels in Buffalo Pound Lake are maintained by the release of water from the Qu'Appelle Dam on Lake Diefenbaker.

The Corporation’s mission is to provide a reliable and affordable supply of safe, high-quality drinking water which meets the needs and expectations of consumers in the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw, and surrounding regions.

The Corporation currently supplies water to the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw, SaskWater, and the Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, which supply water to many communities in the Region, extending as far west as Mortlach, as far east as Sedley, as far south as Briercrest and as far north as Bethune. In total BPWTC supplies water to 260,000 people within the region.

The Plant has been a leader in the delivery of high-quality drinking water. It has received numerous Water Quality Awards and has made significant progress in improving the quality of water provided to its customers. It was one of the first plants in Canada to pioneer the use of the Granular Activated Carbon filtration process for the removal of algae-produced taste and odour in the 1980’s. The Corporation’s quality water successes are due in large part to the water treatment expertise of its employees.

The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant has undergone three major capacity and process improvements since its original construction.

Last upgraded more than 30 years ago, the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant has now reached the end of its useful life. Water treatment plants typically require a major refurbishing every 25 to 30 years.

The plant is in need of upgrading and renewal to ensure the continued delivery of sufficient high-quality water to its customers. Aged infrastructure, a lack of redundancy, dated technology, evolving regulatory requirements, and operating systems with limited controls to address a poor and variable source of raw water, are all challenges that are faced by the current plant, and will be addressed by the plant upgrades.

In 2018, the Provincial and Federal governments committed $20.6 million in grant funds under the Provincial Territorial Infrastructure Component (PTIC) of the New Building Canada Fund for upgrading of the electrical systems, and provision of back up power, at the Plant.

In June of 2020, the Corporation announced the awarding of the Plant Renewal Design Contract, and on June 8, 2021, federal and provincial funding of $163.4M was announced for work on the Plant Renewal Project, under the Investing In Canada Infrastructure Program.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $89.13 million, the Government of Saskatchewan is providing more than $74.26 million toward the project's eligible costs, and the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation, owned by the cities of Regina and Moose Jaw, is responsible for any additional costs.

The Plant Renewal Project will work to ensure the viability of the water treatment plant for at least the next 25 years, and to ensure the Corporation is able to meet its mandate long into the future.

The Renewal Project is a substantial renovation of the water treatment plant which will include some renovations and new construction, with the intent of re-using as much of the existing facilities and infrastructure as possible.

The renewed plant will:

  • help to address the challenges associated with using current systems to treat the growing range of raw water conditions in Buffalo Pound Lake,
  • help to prevent loss of water supply to the cities,
  • address the dated water treatment technologies,
  • mitigate the risk of treatment process failure due to aging infrastructure,
  • address the plant’s current lack of redundancies,
  • enable the plant to meet environmental regulatory requirements,
  • enable the plant to meet OH&S requirements,
  • enable the plant to address regulatory requirements into the future,
  • increase the capacity of the plant to meet future demands, to 2050,
  • enable and support residential and economic growth in the region serviced by the Corporation, and
  • enhance the plant’s environmental sustainability, by reducing its carbon footprint and implementing the use of renewable energy.

By addressing the plant’s issues, identified above, the Plant Renewal Project will fulfill the Corporation’s
mandate for generations to come.

The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant is located approximately thirty kilometres northeast of the City of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on Highway No. 301, seventeen kilometres north of the intersection with Highway No. 1.

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