Map of new water pipeline being constructed between Prince Albert and South Saskatchewan River.


A new pipeline that is being built to provide an emergency supply of water to Prince Albert is expected to be operational by mid-afternoon on Wednesday.

That’s the word from city manger Jim Toye, who said on Monday the community might be relying on the 30-kilometre pipeline to the South Saskatchewan River for a couple of months.

Toye said the pipeline could be in place as early as Tuesday, but they are allowing for an extra day to bring it online.

Prince Albert city council declared a state of emergency Monday.

The city also passed an emergency measure Monday outlining drastic water usage restrictions — including fines for infractions.

Toye says, including a surcharge, one infraction of non-essential, outdoor use of water could cost an individual or business $1,400.

“We know that 99 per cent of our population is going to comply with that,” he says. “However, having said that, there’s always going to be one per cent that don’t believe that they should comply. So, in order to (enforce) that, we have a deterrent. There will be a fine of $1,000 if you are caught watering when you shouldn’t be — watering your grass, watering your gardens. And, with that, there’s also a $400 surcharge.”

Having said that, Toye is encouraged by the reduction in water usage city officials have observed from residents and businesses between Sunday and Monday.

“All businesses are asked to refrain from using water where they don’t have to,” he says. “It’s critical in the next few days. The last thing we want is our city to run out of water. And like I said earlier, we are getting a very good response from our citizens and our businesses when we made that plea yesterday.”

Toye said the city had a 48-hour supply of water at the start of the day Monday.

Meanwhile, city officials estimate the cost of these measures will be in the millions of dollars.  Earlier today, a Husky Energy representative indicated the company would be paying for all associated costs that communities incur because of the disaster.