Water conservation efforts in Manitoba will be further improved with the development of a new strategic plan by Manitoba Water Stewardship and the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), supported by an $80,000 grant to IISD, Water Stewardship Minister Christine Melnick announced on August 23.
The development of the strategic plan is part of WaterSmart Manitoba, a provincial water-efficiency program that encourages Manitobans to become more efficient at conserving precious water resources for future generations.
“Manitoba is fortunate to have abundant water resources, but reducing our usage will save Manitobans money and will reduce the need to upgrade and expand water treatment and distribution systems in the future,” said Melnick. “People who conserve water will save money on their monthly bills and reducing use will also help to make Manitoba more resilient in the face of future droughts and climate change. In addition, reducing our water consumption will lower energy use and use of other resources in treating and providing water.”
The strategic plan will include development of goals for water conservation and achievable reduction targets, and activities for various areas and sectors of the province, said Melnick.
“We are very pleased to work closely with the experts at the International Institute for Sustainable Development to assist us in putting in place sound and innovative programming for the future,” said Erna Braun, MLA for Rossmere, speaking on behalf of Melnick. “Many areas of Manitoba have an excess of moisture today, but we know this can quickly change. We need to start now to change our behaviour for the future and developing strategies to conserve water is the way to start.”
Melnick said the strategic plan will also:
- Include information on similar programs already in place in other jurisdictions that may be applicable to Manitoba,
- Identify potential legislative and regulatory changes to encourage water conservation and efficiency,
- Identify potential applications for recycling of grey water in Manitoba’s urban municipalities, and
- Specify a plan for public education on water conservation.