Province Providing Nearly $6 Million To Watershed Districts Program

Jul 12, 2021

It was announced Monday, that the Manitoba government will be providing $5.873 million, an increase of $353,000 over previous years, to support watershed districts.

“Our government recognizes the tremendous value watershed districts provide, and the role they play in building climate resiliency and delivering GROW,” said Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen. “We are showing our support through this increase in funding, which will allow districts to expand into municipalities that are not currently participating in the program.”

The additional $353,000 provided this year will aid in expansion efforts in the Pembina Valley Watershed District and the Redboine Watershed District. The department is working with the Pembina Valley and Redboine watershed districts and municipalities to develop proposals outlining future membership in the program. An amended regulation will be required to formalize the membership, which is anticipated for March 31, 2022.

“Pembina Valley Watershed District (PVWD) welcomes this opportunity for additional municipalities to join the Watershed Districts Program,” said Bill Howatt, chair, PVWD. “The program allows municipalities to work together on natural resource issues using a watershed-based approach and will also allow producers to access voluntary funding opportunities available through watershed districts, such as the newly created GROW Trust. The GROW Trust is a game-changer, providing funding for producers to improve their sustainable farm management practices and recognizing their contributions to healthy watersheds.”

This funding builds on the increase of $205,000 in 2020-21, which helped expand the Assiniboine West and Central Assiniboine watershed districts into three new municipal areas including Whitehead, Elton, and North Cypress Langford.

“Redboine Watershed District (RBWD) is pleased to see the Watershed Districts Program expanding across the province," said Marshall Piper, chair, RBWD. “We are excited for the opportunity to work with additional municipal partners in our watershed.”

The modernization of the Watershed District Program and the new mandate of districts to deliver Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) has led to renewed interest from non-member municipalities to join the program.

The Manitoba government has invested more than $200 million in the new Conservation and GROW trusts.

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