A past president of the Duncairn Cabin Owners Association is speaking out hoping to calm some of the panic surrounding residents at Reid Lake. 

Richard Whyte, who was the president from 2009 to 2014 and owns two homes in Ferguson Bay, has kept an open mind toward the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA) looking to increase the irrigation coming from the reservoir.

"They just need to get the proper information out there," he said. "How much water they're letting go [at Duncairn Dam] that could be utilized for irrigation and people need to quit panicking about stuff."

After all, the man-made lake was constructed for irrigation purposes and to provide the City of Swift Current with water.

"Let them present the numbers," he said. "They have the scientific data, they've obviously crunched the numbers, let them present it. If those numbers don't work, then I understand the cries."

The WSA sent an email in the middle of July to stakeholders along Reid Lake informing them they were examining irrigation expansion. Since then, Whyte believes the anxiety among residents has risen while they worry about the impact it might have on water levels.

"It will fluctuate the lake but it's not going to be detrimental to the lake," he said. "If the water level goes so low, they'll limit how much water they'll allow those producers to use.

"What I think is going to happen is they will keep it [the lake] fuller earlier in the spring," he said. "Then come this time of year then they start draining it down for the irrigators."

Whyte is currently constructing a new year-round home on the north end of Ferguson Bay and is also selling a cabin. He made sure to mention that the multiple homes for sale at the lake are not a result of the potential irrigation project and he doesn't believe it will have any effect on property values.

"It has nothing to do with irrigation going in," he said. "The cabins for sale are mostly due to the age of the people [selling]."

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