The Quill Lakes Watershed Association commissioned Dr. James Warren, from the University of Regina to complete a study assessing the economic impacts associated with the Quill Lakes flooding crisis. The principal findings of the economic impact study are provided below:
- Value of lost crop and livestock production 2012-2018. The cumulative value of crop and livestock production lost to flooding over the 2012-2018 period is estimated at $74 million. When economic multipliers for crop and livestock production are applied to the loss figures an economic impact value of $133 million is obtained. Estimates using an employment multiplier indicate lost crop production is currently responsible for employment losses equivalent to 116 full-time jobs annually (as of 2018).
- Market value of farmland and buildings flooded to date. Flooding has taken approximately 92,000 acres of formerly productive farmland out of production. At 2018 market prices the land lost would be worth $91,445,625 had it not been flooded. The value of flooded yard sites and farm buildings is estimated to be worth $9 million. This brings the total value lost to $100,445,625. (Data recently received from RM #338 for the number of yard sites flooded indicates the $9 million figure is an underestimation).
- Revenue and cost impacts on local government and infrastructure losses. The decline in the assessed value of farmland and the associated loss in RM and school division tax revenues was not determined – nor was the cost to RMs for infrastructure repairs and upgrades. Golder (2015) estimates the cost of repair and upgrading of municipal roads highways and one rail line at $79,000,000 (as of 2015).
- Impacts on farm production units. An estimated $17,211,776 million in realized net farm income has been lost due to flooding over the 2012-2018 period. This total is based on realized average net farm income figures for Saskatchewan 2013-2017. And, as noted above, flooding has destroyed in excess of $9 million worth of farm buildings and yard sites. (Data recently received from RM #338 suggests this is a significant underestimation).
- Future conditions. Should flood waters raise lake levels to 521.4 metres above sea level, crop and livestock losses will increase by $8 million over 2018 loses for each year at that level.