GFM Network News


Watershed districts optimistic about provincial funding

The four per cent increase in funds may mean waiting municipalities can join the watershed district program

A funding increase should give Manitoba’s watershed districts some room to expand after previously maxing out provincial funds. “It’s a signal that the Manitoba government believes in the value of our work and wants to work with us to fill the blank spots on our map,” said Ray Frey, chair of the Manitoba Association of Watersheds

Manitoba government proclaims Watershed District Act

District members had expressed concern that act would be delayed, complicating plans

The act that reforms conservation districts along watershed lines was proclaimed Dec. 30, slightly ahead of schedule. “This new model of improved watershed management strategies will improve the quality of our water in lakes, wetlands, rivers and streams, an important step towards mitigating climate change locally and globally,” said Blaine Pedersen, minister of Agriculture and


Dori Gingera-Beauchemin, deputy minister of agriculture and resource development, speaks at the 2019 MCDA conference in Winnipeg, December 4.

Watershed districts waiting on funds to bring in new municipalities

Expansion has been on hold while the program is modernized, the province says

At least five municipalities are waiting in the wings to join watershed districts, some for at least three years, but provincial funding is maxed out. Conservation district members pressed Deputy Ag Minister Dori Gingera-Beauchemin and her staff for answers during a Q-and-A session at the recent Manitoba Conservation Districts Association conference in Winnipeg. Half of


A flooded field in the RM of St. Andrews, March 2017.

Province on track to proclaim watershed regulations

The province says it is on track to proclaim regulations that would transform conservation districts into watershed districts, but that didn’t stop district members from pressing for a promise. Dori Gingera-Beauchemin, deputy minister of agriculture and resource development, held a Q-and-A with Manitoba Conservation Districts Association members during their annual conference in Winnipeg on Dec.


“Water does not follow political or administrative boundaries.” – Rochelle Squires.

Manitoba’s conservation districts to be revamped

Plans to realign districts along watershed lines have been in discussion for years

A rearranging of Manitoba’s conservation districts into ‘watershed districts’ should streamline management and bring the districts more into line with their original intent. “Water does not follow political or administrative boundaries,” said Rochelle Squires, then minister of sustainable development, in a news release Oct. 11. “These proposed changes support our made-in-Manitoba climate and green plan

Jodi Goerzen, Seine Rat River Conservation District manager, looks at LIDAR watershed maps on her computer. The maps are being developed as part of a larger flood and drought resiliency plan being developed for the CD.

First-ever plan on economics of water storage networks in development

Theirs will be a first-ever plan that builds an investment case for flood and drought resiliency, says Seine Rat River Conservation District manager

2019 will see a comprehensive flood and drought protection plan produced for southeastern Manitoba, the first ever to be developed in the province. Now under development in the Seine Rat River Conservation District, the plan will eventually map out sites across the district most prone to excess water flow, or vulnerable to dry spells, and

Consultations on streamlined drainage regulation end January 19

The draft regulations aim to reduce red tape and wait times, while increasing protection for wetlands

Manitobans have until January 19 to tell the province what they like — or don’t like — about the approach it proposes to protect wetlands as it introduces changes to Water Rights Regulation. Manitoba is introducing the most significant changes to Water Rights Regulation since the 1980s. The proposals include a more streamlined drainage approval


The proposed watershed districts.

New era begins for conservation districts in 2019

Amalgamations will reduce the number of conservation districts from 18 to 14, hereafter to be called watershed districts

Big changes are ahead in 2019 for Manitoba’s conservation districts. The current 18 existing entities are merging into 14, afterward to be called watershed districts, and given expanded mandates for water management. New boundaries and name changes will be just part of a broad array of changes made to the program, as the provincial government

Part of Manitoba’s Climate and Green Plan, the $102-million Conservation Trust will fund activities that create, conserve, or enhance natural infrastructure in Manitoba.

A watershed moment — province funds Conservation Trust

When fully capitalized, the fund is expected to generate about $5 million a year for projects and environmental goods and services

The ink is now dry on Manitoba’s new Conservation Trust agreement, and groups looking to it to support new programs with it should submit letters of intent by January 15. The province signed its agreement December 11, putting in an initial $28-million contribution this month, towards making the $102-million trust it announced in last spring’s