Watersheds are defined as areas of land that captures precipitation (i.e. rain, snow melt) and funnels it to a river, lake or stream. They are a community where people, business, agriculture, government, institutions, plants, and wildlife are all interconnected by common resources. The community influences the watershed and the watershed influences the community. Declining health through flooding, poor water quality, soil erosion, loss of wildlife habitat, streambank erosion, wetland drainage, lack of drought protection and increasing water demand are all common concerns for many of these watersheds in southern Manitoba. Integrated Watershed Management Plans are an organized way of looking at big picture issues and setting long and short-term priorities for improving the health of our watersheds. These plans are holistic and provide a venue where all watershed residents, local municipalities and government agencies can openly discuss watershed concerns and work together to develop lasting solutions.
The Redboine Watershed District has been established as Water Planning Authority (WPA) by the Provincial Government for watersheds within our boundaries. This means that the District has been assigned the responsibility of preparing and implementing Integrated Watershed Management Plans (IWMP) for watersheds within the district. The La Salle River IWMP was completed in 2010 and has been in the implementation stage ever since. The Boyne-Morris River IWMP, which RBWD shares joint WPA duties with the Pembina Valley Watershed District, was started in 2016 and is currently in the final stages of development. The Boyne-Morris River IWMP will be replacing the Stephenfield Lake Watershed Management Plan that was completed in 2005 and was an important document guiding watershed decisions in the Boyne River watershed for 15 years.
To learn more about IWMP's and how they are developed, click here.
The La Salle River Watershed Management Plan
The La Salle River watershed encompasses 2,400km2 of the central plains region of Manitoba. It is home to a large number of small communities including 5 rural municipalities and portions of the City of Winnipeg. The watershed is also represented by 5 planning districts, a wide variety of producer groups, Hutterite Colonies, community associations, business associations and the La Salle Redboine Conservation District.
In March of 2006, LSRBCD was designated the Water Planning Authority for the La Salle River Watershed. Area stakeholders, from various organizations, agencies and industry, were invited to participate in a consensus based planning process. In January of 2007 a State of the Watershed Report was completed and it was used in conjunction with public meetings to develop a listing of priority issues and solutions. A draft plan was completed and was reviewed during a second round of public meetings in 2008. A second draft plan was then completed, and reviewed in April of 2009.
On June 7, 2011 LSRBCD Staff and Board Members were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation to recognize the official signing and acceptance of the La Salle River IWMP by the Minister for Water Stewardship. The presentation was made by the Deputy Minister at a reception at the Manitoba Legislature.
Boyne-Morris River IWMP
The draft plan is being laid out and will soon be ready for commenting. Stay tuned for opportunities to make sure everything you think should be covered will make it into the plan.
Don’t feel like you missed your chance however, we always welcome feedback on the issues and assets you see in the Boyne-Morris Watershed.
Stephenfield Lake Watershed Management Plan
The Stephenfield Lake watershed is a 370 square mile area located approximately 60 miles south west of Winnipeg along the Manitoba Escarpment. The population of the watershed is approximately 3885. Land use/cover is approximately 81.5% agriculture, 13.5% trees, 3.5% urban & transportation and 1.5% water. The major economic resource is agriculture.
In the fall of 2001, the Stephenfield Lake watershed planning process began in response to concerns regarding water quality and quantity. Stephenfield Lake area stakeholders, from various organizations, agencies and industry, were invited to participate in a consensus based planning process and in the spring of 2002, a 20 member planning Round Table was formed. A 17 member Technical Advisory Group from various provincial and federal agencies was also formed in 2002 to put together a background report on watershed inventory and concerns.
In June of 2005, the watershed plan was completed and passed on to Manitoba Water Stewardship for official approval. The 20 member Round Table group has since become the Boyne River Watershed Action Group, and meets regularly to oversee the implementation of the strategies laid out in the plan.