With Saskatchewan about to enter another boom, and investment increasing in southeast Saskatchewan, we caught up with Golden West business commentator Paul Martin to talk about the overall economic picture in the province.  

He pointed out that for a number of years, except for oil, agriculture, potash and uranium up north, Saskatchewan was seen as a blank spot on the map between Calgary and Winnipeg. Now, with resource prices climbing, the situation is changing. 

“All of a sudden, now, our political environment seems to be more appealing to them (investors), and we are the treasure trove that is one giant undeveloped, untapped, unexplored piece of Canada,” Martin explained. 

For some of those investors, southeast Saskatchewan has become an attractive place. While oil and agriculture have been mainstays of the economy in the region for years, other resources are starting to come into play. 

“What we’re discovering is a mile below the surface, of southeast Saskatchewan in particular, there is, yes, some potash, there’s oil obviously – we've been taking that out for a long time – but all of a sudden we’re discovering the commercial viability in things such as water,” Martin explained. 

How water is becoming valuable in the southeast comes through the geothermal process. Companies such as Deep Earth Energy Production (DEEP) and Prairie Lithium are utilizing water below the other resources. The water itself is already superheated thanks to the natural pressures exerted upon it underground and is extracted by DEEP to be used for power production, using the steam and water to turn the turbines. Then, the water is used by Prairie Lithium to extract brine minerals such as lithium. Then, the water is returned to the aquifer, where it gets reheated underground by natural forces. 

Going forward, Martin is expecting to see increased investment, which will have benefits across the province. The increased prices will mean more money for the provincial government’s coffers through royalties. The increase in investment will also see job creation in the region. 

You can hear the complete interview with Martin below.