The Manitoba government is partnering with a variety of provincial stakeholders to reduce flooding and maintain a healthy Lake Winnipeg through the creation of a provincewide Surface Water Management Strategy, which will be a guide for responsible future planning for watersheds across the province, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.
“Protecting the health of Lake Winnipeg and our many other beautiful lakes and waterways is a top priority for this government. A comprehensive approach to managing surface water will help to reduce the amounts of nutrients that are making our lake sick and stop the flooding that is washing them into our rivers and streams,” said Mackintosh. “Effective water management also includes protecting wetlands to create healthier wetlands and upstream water storage, which is a first step toward better protecting famers and municipalities from small to medium floods or droughts.”
Today, the Manitoba Water Council hosted a day-long summit with representatives from conservation districts across the province including the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, Keystone Agricultural Producers, Aboriginal leaders, environmental groups, as well as leading academic and scientific experts.
A consistent and transparent Surface Water Management Strategy will improve the mitigation of flood and drought conditions by providing local authorities and department officials with a consistent rationale for decision-making on water management for all scales of watersheds, Mackintosh said, adding the strategy will be grounded in principles of shared governance, with clearly articulated roles for the province, municipalities, local watershed-based authorities and individual Manitobans.
Meetings and consultations with stakeholders will be conducted by staff of Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship over the coming year.