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Water Stewardship Division

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Lake Friendly Accord and
the Lake Friendly Stewards Alliance

Lake Friendly Accord

Lake Friendly Accord (en français)

Everyone needs to work together and play a role in reducing phosphorus and nitrogen loading to waterways.  The concept of a Lake Friendly Accord was first announced in June 2013 as a way of coordinating action toward a common goal of improving water quality by reducing nutrients through the engagement of all.  Manitoba partnered with the Mayors and Reeves of the south basin of Lake Winnipeg to build on the success of the existing “Lake Friendly” awareness program to ensure that this Accord will engage all sectors of society in action to protect our lakes and rivers.  The Lake Friendly Accord is a pledge, with signatories supporting a common goal to reduce nutrient loading to waterways by working collaboratively, developing specific commitments, and reporting annually on plans, progress and actions. 

The Accord will provide a framework for all stakeholders including governments and non-government agencies to identify actions that they can take to reduce nutrient loading and to improve water quality.  The Accord will not duplicate but will build on existing transboundary mechanisms and agreements such as through the International Joint Commission, Red River Basin Commission and the Prairie Provinces Water Board. 

The Lake Friendly Accord is gaining momentum and generating interest from a wide range of stakeholders, jurisdictions and inter-jurisdictional agencies.  The Accord supports and builds on the Water Charter endorsed by Premiers in 2010.  In 2013, Canada’s Western Premiers agreed to explore ways to improve the exchange of information and best practices to address water quality challenges across watersheds and specifically referenced the Manitoba-led Lake Friendly Accord.  In addition, at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council of State, legislators resolved to improve cross border water quality, including implementing common goals and shared targets, for better and broader management of nutrients.

The Accord was signed on March 21, 2014 by the Government of Canada, the Government of Manitoba and the South Basin Mayors and Reeves, and on September 4, 2014 by the Red River Basin Commission.  Minnesota became the first international government to sign on January 20, 2015, when the Accord was signed by Commissioners of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Natural Resources.