The Manitoba government announced on August 6 its support of the new Assiniboine River Basin Commission, and a contribution of $50,000 toward initial startup activities.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing more frequent and severe flooding not only in Manitoba, but across North America,” Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger said. “We look forward to working closely with this new organization on improvements in water management and planning throughout the basin including flood forecasting, water storage and drainage practices, and priorities for upgrading mitigation infrastructure.”

The Assiniboine River Basin Initiative (ARBI) was established to improve communication between stakeholders across the basin, which sits in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and North Dakota. The initiative was modelled after the Red River Basin Commission, which has been effective in promoting cross-border dialogue and planning in the Red River Valley. The views of conservation groups, scientists, agricultural producers, municipalities, First Nations, water agencies, and provincial and state governments will all be sought out in an effort to secure effective flood mitigation planning across the region.

“Flood waters know no boundaries, so our solutions and strategies for fighting floods have to include our neighbours,” Selinger said. “We will keep building on the good work already being done by our conservation and emergency measures departments with Saskatchewan and North Dakota to make sure we can keep families, businesses, and properties safe in our province and across regions.”

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