News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 13, 2014

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT ADVISES ASSINIBOINE RIVER BASIN INITIATIVE MEETINGS UNDERWAY


Meetings Support Stronger Connections, Increased Co-operation between Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota: Premier Selinger

Officials and stakeholders from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota are attending the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative meetings to better connect about issues related to flooding, drought and water quality across the entire region, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.

“Connecting with our neighbours through the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative will be key in helping us better prepare for flooding and other water management challenges across the entire region,” said Premier Selinger.  “By working together to share information quickly, we can build on work already underway and develop stronger long-term plans to deal with water management at a basin-wide level.”

Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh, along with a number of municipal and provincial officials, are attending the meetings in Regina this week.  The Manitoba government has committed an initial contribution of $50,000 toward the start-up of the new grassroots initiative.

The Assiniboine River Basin Initiative (ARBI) has been established to encourage improved conversations and connections between a number of stakeholders from different organizations including conservation groups, scientists, agricultural producers, municipalities, First Nations, water agencies and affected provincial, state and local governments in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota.  

The ARBI was modelled along the lines of the Red River Basin Commission.  For more than a decade, the grassroots-led Red River Basin Commission has served as an effective forum for cross-border dialogue and planning in the Red River Valley.

“A basin-wide approach to water management across the Assiniboine River is an ideal complement to local watershed planning initiatives and formal government-to-government work through the International Joint Commission and the Prairie Provinces Water Board,” said Premier Selinger.  “We are excited to take part in these meetings to look at ways to engage stakeholders and governments at all levels to improve water management across the basin and help us develop better plans for the future.”

The premier noted the Manitoba government’s participation in the initiative builds on other recent work to prepare for flooding including implementing a surface water management strategy.  The strategy supports an integrated approach to managing surface water including:

  • looking at ways to more effectively consider cumulative downstream effects in terms of flooding or drought,
  • proposing drainage regulation changes to ensure more effort and penalties are focused on illegal drainage, and
  • supporting the implementation of a no-net-loss-of-wetland-benefits policy within a sustainable drainage framework.

 

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