Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association » About

A Unified Approach for a Shared Vision


To Secure Safe & Healthy Water for All
For Now & the Future

Learn More

Join Our Latest Project

school childrens are going for the trip
Drone view of shellmouth dam

Our Story—How It Started

The Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association (AWSA) is an independent, non-profit organization founded to protect source water in the Assiniboine River Watershed.

The journey began with a study of the Upper Assiniboine River Basin in August 2000. The study was initiated due to the devastating 1995 flood and river water-related concerns, such as drainage, flood control, and the loss of valuable wetland habitat.

Read Full Story

In addition, there was uncertainty regarding unsustainable water supplies for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and recreational purposes and a lack of knowledge regarding the hydrologic and ecological processes and their effects within the watershed. There were also growing concerns about deteriorating water quality and a lack of proper aquifer management and protection. In October 1996, the governments of Saskatchewan (Sask Water), Manitoba (Manitoba Conservation), and Canada (Environment Canada) agreed to conduct the Upper Assiniboine River Basin Study. The Upper Assiniboine River Basin Study provided information regarding the basin’s water resources, as well as information and recommendations on future water management.

In October 2002, the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority started working to implement the key findings of the study. In 2004, two watershed advisory committees were established within the Assiniboine River Watershed to lead watershed management and aquifer planning, the Assiniboine River Advisory Committee and the Yorkton Area Aquifers Advisory Committee. These two committees included local representatives from rural and urban municipalities, First Nations, as well as stewardship, agricultural, and other interest groups. Their work was based on the Upper Assiniboine River Basin Study as well as extensive groundwater studies conducted in the Yorkton Aquifer Area, titled Groundwater Resources in the Yorkton Aquifer Management Plan Area Final Report (Maathuis and Simpson, 2006). As a result, the Assiniboine River Watershed Source Water Protection Plan and the Yorkton Area Aquifers Source Water Protection Plan were developed in August 2006.

In order to carry out the key actions outlined in the source water protection plans, the Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association Inc. was established on January 23, 2007. It became a non-profit organization. The AWSA stands out among other watershed groups in the province because it implements two source water protection plans, recognizing the crucial role of groundwater in the Assiniboine River Watershed.

What We Stand For

Our Vision

Our vision is for citizens and communities of the Assiniboine River Watershed to work together to protect the source waters of the Assiniboine River, its tributaries, and aquifers within the watershed.

Our Mission

Our mission is to have healthy source waters throughout the Assiniboine River Watershed.

Our Goal

Our goal is to ensure every individual in the Assiniboine River Watershed has access to a safe and reliable drinking water supply, both now and in the future.

We Work as a Platform to Bring Real Change

AWSA is a people’s platform to implement key water protection plans and other projects throughout the watershed. We work as a platform to unite the communities and interest groups within the watershed. Here, people can share their concerns and gain practical guidance on conducting sustainable agriculture, retaining biodiversity, and managing water for a safer and greener future.

Contact Us

Our Distinctive Approach

We collaborate with different stakeholders, including the government, stewardship groups, and private agencies, to accomplish the important actions outlined in our two-source water protection plans. The Assiniboine River Watershed is a remarkable region with distinct source water challenges. Our source water protection plans specifically address the most significant risks that endanger water supplies. AWSA offers local solutions tailored to local issues and serves as a resource for people seeking assistance with their water-related concerns.

Advisory Committees

Yorkton Area Aquifers Advisory Committee

Aron Hershmiller – City of Yorkton

Grant McCallum – Town of Saltcoats

Joe Skitcko – R.M of Saltcoats No.213

Brian Reinson – R.M. of Cana No. 214

Garry Liebrecht – R.M. of Wallace No. 243

Randy Trost – R.M. of Orkney No. 244

Whitesand River Advisory Committee

Vacant (1 year term remaining) – City of Melville

Brad Gabora – Town of Canora

Stephen Spearman – Town of Springside

Garry Jopko – Village of Rhein

Roger Hardie – Village of Theodore

Brent Ulmer – R.M of Stanley No. 215

John Zuchkan – R.M of Garry No. 245

Leonard Kuschak – R.M. of Ituna Bon Accord No. 246

LeeAnn Weinbender – R.M of Sliding Hills No. 273

Ken Demchuk – R.M of Good Lake No. 274

Dwayne Kitzan – RM of Insinger No. 275

Grant Faye – R.M. of Foam Lake No. 276

Don Skoretz – R.M of Buchanan No. 304

Phillip Shewchuk – R.M of Invermay No. 305

Barry Marquette – R.M of Sasman No. 336

Assiniboine River Advisory Committee

Lyle Romaniuk – Town of Kamsack

Russ Thies – Town of Churchbridge

Lorrie Popp – Town of Langenburg

Florian Balawyder – Town of Preeceville

Don Olson – Town of Sturgis

Reg Andrews – Village of MacNutt

Jim Weinheimer – R.M of Langenburg No. 181

David Zerr – R.M of Churchbridge No. 211

Roy Derworiz – R.M of Calder No. 241

Craig Salahub – R.M. of Cote No. 271

Conrad Vogel – R.M. of St. Phillips No. 301

Brad Hallick – R.M of Keys No. 303

Ken Frampton – R.M. of Livingston No. 331

Duane Hicks – R.M. of Clayton No. 333

Reg Yaremchuk – R.M of Preeceville No. 334

Colin Redman – R.M of Hazel Dell No. 335

Board of Directors

The AWSA is governed by a 12 member board of directors comprised of 2 rural and 2 urban representatives elected from each of our 3 advisory committees – the Assiniboine River, the Whitesand River, and the Yorkton Area Aquifers advisory committees.

Yorkton Area Aquifers Advisory Committee Board Members

Aron Hershmiller – City of Yorkton (Board Chairman)

Grant McCallum – Town of Saltcoats (Board Vice Chair)

Randy Trost – R.M. of Orkney No. 244

Garry Liebrecht – R.M. of Wallace No. 243

Assiniboine River Advisory Committee Board Members

Don Olson – Town of Sturgis

Russ Thies – Town of Churchbridge

Duane Hicks – R.M. of Clayton No. 333

Roy Derworiz – R.M. of Calder No. 241

Whitesand River Advisory Committee Board Members

Andrew Fahlman – City of Melville

Stephen Spearman – Town of Springside

Robert Steffenson – R.M. of Goodlake No. 274

Dwayne Kitzan – R.M. of Insinger No. 275

AWSA Watershed Map (RM name & No.)
Assiniboine River Sign board


Become a member of AWSA and drive the Assiniboine River water protection efforts with us. AWSA membership is offered to the residents of rural and urban municipalities within the watershed. Farmers and businesses within the watershed get exclusive services and membership benefits. Contact us to learn more about the membership and its benefits.


Jesse Nielsen


Read More

Jesse Nielsen was born and raised in Yorkton, SK. He now lives outside of Springside, SK with his wife and 4 children. He received his Bachelor of Science degree (High Honours) in Land Use and Environmental Studies (LUESt) at the University of Saskatchewan in May of 2007 and a Master of Science degree from U of S in June of 2010. His thesis research partnered with Ducks Unlimited Canada to develop a framework for the cumulative effects assessment of project development on wetlands, specifically focusing on the Highway # 11 North twinning project between Saskatoon and Prince Albert, SK. He is confident in his ability to apply the skills and knowledge learned through his education to promote and raise awareness of source water protection, and contribute to the overall success of the Association’s work in the Assiniboine River Watershed.

As a life-long avid fisherman and hunter, Jesse is especially passionate about protecting the natural beauty and sustainability of the Yorkton area he calls home. As such, he is excited to contribute to the protection of source water in the Yorkton Area Aquifers and Assiniboine River Watershed. Jesse firmly believes in taking an active role in ensuring that the natural resources of the Assiniboine River are kept healthy for future generations to use and appreciate.

Jesse began as AWSA coordinator in May 2009 and became manager in September 2015. Continued implementation of meaningful projects and programming that benefit all residents of the watershed through enhanced source water protection will be Jesse’s goal as AWSA manager, now, and into the future.

Chris Jordens


Read More

Chris Jordens was born in Regina and moved to Yorkton at the age of 4. He grew up in Yorkton and still lives in the city with his wife and their cat. Chris enjoys working out, going to the gym, and riding his bike. Chris has over 15 years of surveying experience and looks forward to working in the watershed he grew up in and contributing however he can to the success of the AWSA’s projects and programming.

Skip to content