Posted by: Vicki Burns | June 12, 2013

Keeping Water on the Land – The Consequences of Not Doing So

Flooded road

Flooded road

In the last few days I’ve come across some news items that capture, in heartbreaking ways, the consequences of not keeping water on the land. This article from the Morden Times in southern Manitoba, quotes 2 farmers who are very clear on the damage that upland drainage is doing to their property. Even more tragic are the 2 deaths that have occurred in Manitoba recently as a result of washed out roads. Overland flooding is creating life threatening hazards, damaging farmlands, destroying homes and creating economic havoc.
Next week on June 20 the Lake Winnipeg Foundation, along with Ducks Unlimited, The Manitoba Conservation Districts Association and the Manitoba Eco-Network , are hosting our second workshop called Keeping Water on the Land. Its all about how we need to slow down the flow of water off our landscapes during spring melts, and big rainstorms. Why? Because with all the drainage of wetlands that has occurred over the past few decades, we are facilitating more flooding downstream, carrying more phosphorus off the land into our lakes and losing all that valuable water during times of drought. We’re working hard to get more awareness built amongst Manitobans so that we can encourage our governments to invest in protecting wetlands, restoring some wetlands and building on-farm water retention ponds. Another way of describing it is investing in rebuilding “natural infrastructure”.
So I hope we can encourage many people to attend our Keeping Water on the Land workshop on June 20 – registration and more details are available at Manitoba Water Caucus. If you’re interested in helping Lake Winnipeg or just want to make sure that you don’t have to pay huge flood disaster bills out of our tax dollars, this is the workshop to come to!

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Responses

  1. Do you know that farmers get federal tax break for clearing their land? I live on the escarpment and these guys are now stripping forest on the top of hills.

    • No I did not know that and I will have to look into it. Doesn’t make sense, knowing what we now know about drainage contributing to flooding and water quality problems. So the federal govt. may be subsiding something that ultimately costs them due to flood damage.


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