Manitoba's Watershed Districts

Manitoba’s Watershed Districts Program (previously Conservation Districts) is one of the most successful land and water conservation partnerships in Canada. The Watershed Districts Act, proclaimed on January 1, 2020, transitioned 18 conservation districts to 14 new watershed districts with boundaries based on watersheds.  The program has also been modernized to enhance watershed-based water management in Manitoba.

Manitoba's Watershed Districts

Proposed Map of Future Watershed Districts Kelsey Seine Rat Roseau Northeast REd East Interlake Redboine Pembina Valley Souris River Central Assiniboine West Interlake Whitemud Westlake Assiniboine West Inter-Mountain Swan Lake
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Program Administration

The Watershed Planning & Programs Section administers and manages the Watershed Districts Program as defined by The Watershed Districts Act, and coordinates and supports Integrated Watershed Management Planning as outlined in The Water Protection Act. Watershed districts are formed as a partnership between the province and local municipalities to protect, restore and manage land and water resources on a watershed basis.  Watershed districts are established under the authority of The Watershed Districts Act. Currently, there are 14 watershed districts in Manitoba, together they cover the majority of municipal Manitoba. Each district is charged with developing and implementing programming to improve watershed health, while four districts also have a surface water infrastructure mandate to maintain provincial waterways within their boundary.

Watershed districts can also be designated as a Water Planning Authority for integrated watershed management planning under The Water Protection Act in Manitoba. They provide leadership in both the development and implementation of watershed plans.  A watershed plan assists a district in planning long-term and short-term goals and identifying priority project to improve watershed health. Currently there are twenty six integrated watershed management plans in various stages of completion and one plan under renewal in Manitoba.