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Government of Manitoba
Conservation and Water Stewardship

Towards Sustainable Drainage

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Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship requests your input on the proposed new approach to regulating drainage and water retention in Manitoba.

A consultation document entitled Towards Sustainable Drainage - A Proposed New Regulatory Approach is available for review.

The Department invites comments to be submitted by December 31, 2014. Comments should be provided in writing to:

Towards Sustainable Drainage Consultation
Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship
Suite 160, 123 Main Street (Box 20)
Winnipeg MB R3C 1A5

E-mail: DWRRconsultation@gov.mb.ca

What is it all about? Simplicity, sustainability, and economic prosperity.

The draining of excess water from lands and retaining it for areas or times when it will be required is vital to the successful production of high quality crops, as well as protection of people and infrastructure. Successive wet years have resulted in a higher than average number of drainage licences requested annually. The resulting wait times for licences and the need to improve the protection of wetland benefits prompted Manitoba to work with stakeholders to develop a new approach to drainage and water retention projects.

A new regulatory approach for drainage and water retention is one action under Manitoba’s Surface Water Management Strategy.

What will the proposed new regulatory framework for drainage and water retention licensing mean for landowners and municipalities?

  • A straightforward approach including minimum standards and clear timelines.
  • Reduction of wait times by 50 per cent or more and reduced associated costs.
  • Increased economic opportunity by allowing the earliest possible start times on the land.
  • Clarity and consistency for all.
  • A focus on enforcement of illegal works and penalties in line with other environmental legislation.
  • A framework where water retention and drainage projects can be considered together, on a watershed basis.

The proposed changes will adjust the focus of regulation from minor drainage changes to those with a major impact on downstream owners or on the environment.

The proposed changes will also improve protection of Lake Winnipeg by ensuring that more wetlands and their benefits are protected and opportunities for water retention are captured.

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