News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

September 18, 2014


Major Investments will Enhance Flood-fighting Infrastructure for Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin: Minister Ashton

A major investment will enhance water level regulation and the flood water management system along the lower Assiniboine River including Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin, Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton announced today.

“We are moving forward to implement greater flood protection by enhancing Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outflow capacities as part of the larger flood management system that includes the Portage Diversion and the Fairford River Water Control Structure,” said Minister Ashton.  “Individual property protection, combined with increased drainage capacity of Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin, will greatly improve flood protection in these areas.”

An open house will be held in Ashern later today to gather public opinion on the conceptual design options, the minister said.  It will be held at the Centennial Hall from 5 to 8 p.m.  The government is also evaluating the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba watersheds to develop greater flood protection, Minister Ashton added.  The Fairford River carries Lake Manitoba waters into Lake Pinemuta and then into Lake St. Martin.  The Dauphin River carries Lake St. Martin waters into Lake Winnipeg. 

“We will be presenting options for enhanced drainage of Lake Manitoba and two regarding enhancing the capacity and making permanent the Lake St. Martin emergency outlet channel,” said Minister Ashton.  “The Red River Valley is protected by a combination of the floodway, the primary diking system, and community and individual ring dikes.  We will enhance the flood protection in the Lake Manitoba and Assiniboine River watersheds also using carefully engineered flood management techniques.”

The Fairford River Water Control Structure, put into operation in 1961, was the province’s first major flood control infrastructure.  The Portage Diversion was completed in 1970.  Minister Ashton noted that since the 1950 flood, Manitoba has developed an extensive integrated flood protection system including floodways and diversions, dams, community ring dikes, in-line dikes and individual property flood protection. 

“This integrated flood mitigation strategy has worked well as a system since that time and has prevented billions of dollars of damage,” said Minister Ashton.  “This investment will require more than 30 steps and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to provide similar additional benefits.”

The options for Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin flood water management system can be seen at

Information on flood protection projects and assistance programs throughout Manitoba can be found at

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