City Council has given approval for a Preliminary Economic Assessment of Moose Jaw's geothermal assets.

What does that mean? Manager of Economic Development, Jim Dixon explains.

"We know from our experience that Moose Jaw sits on a pool of geothermal water. We know that it's an economic driver in our city and it has been, there are proven cases. This is just reaffirming that this well would be deeper and access hotter geothermal water."

The heated geothermal water is what's used at the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, and was used at the Natatorium in the past.

The city has been in discussions with a geologist who studies geothermal resources in southern Saskatchewan, who will be conducting the assessment.

"The assessment is being done to ensure that the resource is there to do the kind of things that we want to do, and we're looking at things ranging from generating baseload electric power, to providing heat to our industrial park, to agri-food production facilities; whether that's a greenhouse or another opportunity like that."

Dixon says it's a very unique asset that the city wants to build on, and it adds great value for investors looking to set up in Moose Jaw. Geothermal energy is also completely carbon neutral.

In a statement from the city, Mayor Fraser Tolmie said: "Moose Jaw has enjoyed the benefits of geothermal water for decades and there may be more benefits on the horizon. Our Council has pledged to aggressively seek economic opportunities for our city and this decision is in line with that goal. We look forward to seeing the results of the Assessment."

Council approved using the Land Reserve Fund to cover the $54,186 assessment cost, which will not affect the 2021 Operating Budget.