Water management planning begins for Boyne-Morris watershed

The two-year process will include public meetings to identify water management priorities

Two southern Manitoba conservation districts will be working with local residents and the provincial government over the next two years to develop an integrated watershed management plan for the Boyne and Morris River watershed.

An integrated watershed management plan (IWMP) is developed co-operatively by stakeholders (watershed residents, interest groups) and all levels of government to create a long-term plan to manage land, water and related resources on a watershed basis, a release from the Pembina Valley Conservation District says.

The two-year process involves meetings with the public throughout the region to identify water management issues and prioritize response.

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“Previous public consultations and natural resource planning documents have shown us that stakeholders are concerned about drinking water quality, surface water quality, flooding and erosion. Water is a critical natural resource important for human existence and part of a healthy ecosystem and can be considered a blessing and a curse,” said Cliff Greenfield, manager at Pembina Valley Conservation District.

This watershed includes a group of tributaries that flow into the Red River, the Boyne River, Stephenfield Lake, Tobacco Creek, Shannon Creek, Norquay-Boyne Channel and the Morris River. Municipalities located in the planning area include Lorne, Victoria, Dufferin, Grey, Norfolk Treherne, Thompson, Pembina, Stanley, Roland, Morris, Macdonald, Ritchot, Town of Carman, Town of Morris and Swan Lake First Nation. The planning process is a partnership between the La Salle Redboine Conservation District, the Pembina Valley Conservation District and the Province of Manitoba.

“With this planning effort, we hope to actively engage people in the watershed to develop a 10-year plan to make it a better and healthier place to live, work and play,” said Justin Reid, manager at La Salle Redboine CD.

Climate change, drought management adaptation, invasive species and biodiversity are also addressed in the planning process.

There are 25 integrated watershed management plans in the province under the leadership of 18 conservation districts. Twenty plans have been completed and five are at various stages of development.

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