Future Studies, Plans, and Policies

Additional studies, plans, and policies will be needed to review key regional issues and provide supporting information for future planning efforts. This includes studies identified as specific policy items within the Regional Plan, as well as additional studies to support other expected regional plans and initiatives.

From the work conducted to date, this will include the studies listed below. These studies are listed in general order of priority, with the specific timing for each study provided in the Timeline and Workplan section.

Green Network Refinement Study

As noted in the Regional Plan, the existing Green Network Study Area (GNSA) on the map is delineated based on existing data. Additional work is necessary to refine these areas and define precise boundaries using more complete and accurate information. This will involve the compilation of data regarding:

  • Significant wetlands and riparian areas;
  • Significant ecological areas and landscape connections;
  • Important conveyance and storage areas for drainage; and
  • The Wanuskewin Heritage Park viewshed.

 

It is preferred that a single regional Refinement Study address the entire GNSA. If multiple subregional studies are coordinated, a common methodology should be developed and used for all refinement studies.

After the Green Network Study Area is refined, the final delineated areas should be amended in the Regional Plan. Areas that are no longer included within the Green Network should be reclassified according to the surrounding land uses and their location within or outside of future urban areas.

Inventory of Culverts and Drainage Infrastructure

During the development of this Plan and the Regional Servicing Strategy, regional hydrological and flood modelling was limited by the lack of information on culverts and other drainage infrastructure that could impact stormwater flows and flooding. An inventory of these structures should be coordinated by P4G and performed by the municipalities to support long-term efforts in stormwater infrastructure planning.

Regional Potable Water Servicing Studies and Plan. In addition to the regional wastewater system, there is a need to provide information regarding the current potable water system and the feasibility of future regional coordination. Regional studies will need to be carried out to supplement the Regional Servicing Strategy with information on:

  • The legal status and potential options for the City of Saskatoon and/or SaskWater to provide regional water delivery outside of City limits;
  • Financial impacts for assuming control of the Saskatoon North Regional Water Pipeline;
  • Design options and costing for a Martensville-Saskatoon connection;
  • Design options and costing for redundancy in the regional potable water distribution system; and
  • Design options and costing for a second regional water treatment plant.

 

This work should be coordinated with ongoing efforts by SaskWater and Saskatoon Water to plan for regional water supply and delivery. To facilitate this, P4G should work to coordinate a Regional Potable Water Servicing Plan which can clearly define the expected long-term roles of regional stakeholders in water treatment and delivery. In partnership with regional providers, this document should define how extensions of water servicing and allocations of capacity are managed, and outline how providers must consider the Plan in decision making.

P4G Regional Commercial and Industrial Market Study

Future planning for retail commercial development, especially by the smaller urban municipalities and the RM along the Highways 11+ 12 corridors, must be informed by a detailed understanding about how much retail space the current and future market can support. This study will provide an understanding of how much new development can be supported, and how this development should be allocated across the Region.

Regional Potable Water Servicing Studies and Plan

In addition to the regional wastewater system, there is a need to provide information regarding the current potable water system and the feasibility of future regional coordination. Regional studies will need to be carried out to supplement the Regional Servicing Strategy with information on:

  • The legal status and potential options for the City of Saskatoon and/or SaskWater to provide regional water delivery outside of City limits;
  • Financial impacts for assuming control of the Saskatoon North Regional Water Pipeline;
  • Design options and costing for a Martensville-Saskatoon connection;
  • Design options and costing for redundancy in the regional potable water distribution system; and
  • Design options and costing for a second regional water treatment plant.

 

This work should be coordinated with ongoing efforts by SaskWater and Saskatoon Water to plan for regional water supply and delivery. To facilitate this, P4G should work to coordinate a Regional Potable Water Servicing Plan which can clearly define the expected long-term roles of regional stakeholders in water treatment and delivery. In partnership with regional providers, this document should define how extensions of water servicing and allocations of capacity are managed, and outline how providers must consider the Plan in decision making.

Regional Wastewater Servicing Studies and Plan

Providing ongoing support for the development of regional wastewater infrastructure will require additional information on the current system and the feasibility of potential regional extensions. Regional studies will need to be carried out to supplement the Regional Servicing Strategy with information on:

  • The financial feasibility of options provided in the Regional Servicing Strategy;
  • Design options and costing for a Martensville-Saskatoon connection;
  • Design options and costing for an Osler-Warman-Saskatoon connection;
  • Siting options for a second wastewater treatment plant; and
  • Design options and costing for a second wastewater treatment plant and required regional pipeline connections.

 

This work should be coordinated with existing efforts conducted by the urban municipalities regarding shared servicing. To achieve greater regional alignment between these efforts, P4G should work to develop a Regional Wastewater Servicing Plan that provides clear guidance regarding intended regional actions in developing a regional wastewater system. This Plan should be developed after studies are conducted to provide a clearer understanding of the costs and benefits of regional options, and provide a strong policy direction for future work by P4G and the municipalities.

Regional Transportation Modelling and Plan

In 2016, the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure (MHI) and the City of Saskatoon worked with P4G to develop the Saskatoon Regional Travel Demand Model (TDM) to support long-range transportation planning in the Region. P4G should support the maintenance of this model and update future land-use projections with information from the Regional Plan.

Ongoing efforts by municipalities in long-term transportation investment should be coordinated through a Regional Transportation Plan developed by P4G. This Plan should be informed by the outputs from the TDM, and identify and prioritize joint projects between municipalities.

Regional Wetlands Inventory and Policy

Although the Green Network Refinement Study is intended to provide a comprehensive assessment of the Green Network to inform the future management of these areas for conservation and drainage functions, there is a lack of compiled information about the type, location, and importance of wetlands across the Region. Providing an inventory for the Region will support efforts by municipalities and P4G to conserve and protect important wetlands in the short-term.

In the longer term, a Regional Wetlands Policy may be developed to support wetlands protection, conservation, and enhancement across the Region. This Policy would complement the policies for the Green Network Study Area, and detail provisions for managing wetlands across the Region; coordinating conservation, mitigation, and enhancement projects; and linking wetlands protection with flood management and control.

Regional Natural and Heritage Resource Inventory

Although provincial government ministries can provide guidance as to the presence of critical natural, ecological, archaeological, cultural, and heritage resources, this information may not be as complete as necessary to guide future development decisions. A detailed compilation and survey of available information about regional natural and heritage resources across the Region can provide strong guidance regarding the impacts of these resources and necessary mitigation to future planning, development, and preservation/conservation efforts.

Regional Natural Areas Strategy

Building upon the Inventory detailed above, a Natural Areas Strategy would work to maintain and enhance key natural features of the Region. This would involve coordination between P4G and the affiliated municipalities, and other public and private agencies regarding the identification, protection, and rehabilitation of important natural areas. Additionally, this Strategy would work to develop and maintain natural and naturalized corridors for species movement across the landscape to promote healthy wildlife populations.