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Water Stewardship Division

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Lake Winnipeg Action Plan

On February 18, 2003, an action plan was announced to help protect Lake Winnipeg. The Action Plan is a commitment to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loads to Lake Winnipeg to pre-1970s levels. The Lake Winnipeg Action Plan was developed in part from scientific research conducted through the Nutrient Management Strategy and will be updated as studies continue. The Lake Winnipeg Action Plan recognizes that nutrients are contributed by most activities occurring within the drainage basin and that reductions will need to occur across all sectors.

Action under the six-point plan includes:

  • establishment of a Lake Winnipeg Stewardship Board to help Manitobans identify further actions necessary to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous to pre-1970 levels in the lake by 13 percent or more, subject to further findings of the Nutrient Management Strategy;
  • introduction of new measures to help protect natural growth along the Red and Assiniboine rivers to prevent erosion and reduce nutrient run-off into the rivers to complement the Riparian Areas Tax Credit introduced in 2001;
  • provision of a program to expand soil testing to ensure appropriate fertilizer application in both rural and urban settings;
  • introduction of a new sewage and septic field regulation that will outline clear standards for the placement of systems;
  • development of a shoreline protection project in partnership with Manitoba Hydro to help address erosion concerns; and
  • commencement of cross-border nutrient management discussions.

Licensing of the City of Winnipeg, and other facilities, under the Environment Act is underway and will include nutrient management requirements.

The Province of Manitoba introduced the new Water Protection Act to better protect the health of Lake Winnipeg and all Manitoba waterways.