By Marianne Curtis
The Seine-Rat River Conservation District is pleased that the province has accepted their integrated water management plan.
On July 5, the province congratulated the Seine-Rat River Conservation District and its project management team for completing the Seine River integrated watershed management plan, one of the first plans to be initiated in Manitoba.
Cornie Goertzen, Chairperson for Seine-Rat River Conservation District is pleased that the province has approved their water management plan.
“This is a very good thing that the province did approve it,” stated Goertzen. “We have been working on our goals and objectives before the province approved this, so we had a good start.”
He explained that the District has six goals that will improve water in the area. These goals include improving water surface quality, trying to keep solids and nutrients on the land, protecting the ground water which includes sealing abandoned wells. The organization has also been managing the Seine River including cleaning it up, and land use planning.
“Through the process we decided which areas we would like to work on, and how do we want to reach the goals we want to do,” stated Goertzen. “We want to keep as much water where it lands instead of sending it downstream and bothering someone else.”
Public education is also part of the management plan.
“We want to also make people aware of the water shed issues – what we are working for as conservation district is to improve our watershed and not let it deteriorate like it has in the past,” Goertzen added.
A watershed is an area of land that drains to a common downstream point. The integrated watershed management plan is a strategy or roadmap prepared by the community within the watershed that describes the actions necessary to achieve and maintain a sustainable and healthy watershed.
In order to complete the plan, the Seine-Rat River Conservation District worked with over 50 organizations and agencies to develop the Seine River integrated watershed management plan. It outlines the vision and actions they intend to take over the next ten years.
“We have good people on the board that are looking at ways to solve problems and watersheds do not stop at municipal boundaries,” Goertzen concluded.
Since 2002, the Seine-Rat River Conservation District has grown to include 11 rural municipalities including La Broquerie, Ste. Anne, Hanover, De Salaberry, Ritchot, Taché, Stuartburn, Springfield, Reynolds, Montcalm and Franklin, as well as the city of Steinbach, the towns of Ste. Anne and Niverville, and the village of St. Pierre-Jolys.