Recent talk of irrigation expansion at the Duncairn Reservoir has southwest residents concerned and questioning. 

The proposed project has been a topic of discussion among conservation organizations and opposing parties for the past several months.

Jordan Ignatiuk, executive director of Nature Saskatchewan, hopes to encourage the provincials government to take a look at the entire impact an irrigation expansion at Duncairn would have. 

"The biggest impact I think we'd see is on the wildlife," said Ignatiuk. 

An entire biosphere would be affected by an expansion, many bird species would no longer be able to rely on the reservoir as a place to rear their young or stage, as Duncairn is currently a migratory bird sanctuary. 

Subsequently, the changing water levels would impact where the fish can survive, where they can breed, and whether or not they will survive through winter.

"Currently we would be opposed to the irrigation expansion based on the location and a very arid or semi-arid region," he said. "Nature Saskatchewan's stance on this one would be to oppose any expanded irrigation on that reservoir."

Ignatiuk noted that additionally, the drinking water that goes to the City of Swift Current would likely require more treatment to be drinkable and funds for that treatment. 

Recreational users of Duncairn would also experience an impact on their boating and fishing, due to less fish and continuously lower water levels throughout the summer. 

"There should be more studies done on it, a whole environmental impact assessment would be good to be able to determine the fish and wildlife impact," Ignatiuk added. "As well there could be a recreational study, an economic impact study, and the water quality."

"All those things would play into whether or not the irrigation expansion is sustainable, the provincial government should look at answering all those questions before going through with the expansion."