Posted by: Vicki Burns | August 16, 2010

Manitoba Conservation Districts – Covering the “Waterfront”

When I asked Dawn Harris, the Executive Director of the Manitoba Conservation Districts Association, to describe in a nutshell what their focus was she said they cover the “waterfront” with the variety of work they do. There are currently 18 Conservation Districts in Manitoba, covering 80 to 85% of Agro-Manitoba, and they have taken on the overall responsibility for developing watershed management plans for their areas. 

image of river with green fields and trees on the shore

Rat River in the Seine-Rat River Conservation District


They focus on everything that has to do with maintaining water quality and quantity to ensure that we have good, clean water and the amount of water that we need now and for future generations. The 18 Conservation Districts are each independent and the projects they work on can vary from one to the other. 

Some examples of work that they engage in are: taking water samples from private wells; wetland restoration; riverbank erosion prevention and mediation; education presentations to schools; Water Festivals; improving surface water management to ensure not too much or too little drainage. 

The funding for the Conservation Districts comes from both the provincial government and the local municipalities. However they are often seeking other grants to assist with the many projects associated with good watershed management. Sounds like there could be a good link between Conservation Districts and Manitoba  Community Foundations – they are both working to ensure healthy communities for all of us.



  1. Hi Vicki, I notice that the education that they do is school oriented. Still nothing to do with educating the adults who can act now if they only knew what to do ! The idea of the Prairie Coalition looks good for a niche in this area?

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