Funding of $1.1 million to help clean up the Lake Winnipeg watershed will help develop an integrated water resource management approach, which is critical to dealing with the problem, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Canada Treasury Board president Vic Toews announced the release of funding by Environment Canada for 14 projects under the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiatives involving two projects managed by IISD’s new Water Innovation Centre (WIC), headed up by Henry David Venema.

Lake Winnipeg is fed by a vast water basin covering 960,000 square kilometres extending over four provinces and four U.S. states. The problems facing the lake are the result of excessive phosphorus and nitrogen from agricultural, municipal and natural sources ending up in the lake. More than half of these nutrients originate outside Manitoba’s borders.

The Environment Canada funding will accelerate two key WIC projects-one concerning the restoration of Netley-Libau Marsh. The other, in partnership with the Red River Basin Commission, concerns multi-purpose land and water investments that produce nutrient and flood reduction benefits.

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