Tom Nevakshonoff, Manitoba’s conservation and water stewardship minister, and Rick Gamble, chair of the South Basin Mayors and Reeves, announced on June 3 that the Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA) has pledged its commitment to improve water quality in Lake Winnipeg by signing the Lake Friendly Accord.

“The broad scope and collaborative structure of the association make it a great fit with the Lake Friendly Accord, as these are exactly the principles we seek to promote to address complex water quality issues in Lake Winnipeg and its basin,” Nevakshonoff said.

The Manitoba government and the South Basin Mayors and Reeves first partnered in June 2013 to announce the Lake Friendly Accord and the Lake Friendly Stewards Alliance.  The goal of these initiatives is to foster collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen loading in Lake Winnipeg.

The CWRA is the first national organization focused exclusively on water-related issues to join the accord.  The association promotes responsible and effective water management by engaging with individuals and organizations across Canada.

“The CWRA believes that awareness and education around the value of water must be prioritized to responsibly manage our water resources,” said Ute Holweger, CWRA president.  “CWRA has an extensive network of water expertise across Canada and we believe that through this network, we can support the dialogue aimed at finding ways to manage water in a way that protects the lakes and waterways throughout the Lake Winnipeg basin and beyond.”

The CWRA is one of many organizations that have signed the accord this year, a trend Nevakshonoff said signals a growing recognition of the need to work towards an integrated solution to Lake Winnipeg’s water quality issues.

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Previous signatories include the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, the South Basin Mayors and Reeves, the Red River Basin Commission, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources, the Lake Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba Hydro, and the University of Manitoba.

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