Coordinated Research Aimed at Water Protection

CANADA - The appointment of Manitoba's first research chair in watershed systems is expected to further the formation of strong coordinated linkages among those involved in protecting the province's water, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 24 December 2010
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The Manitoba government has allocated 1.25 million dollars over the next five years to support the appointment of a new research chair in watershed systems at the University of Manitoba.

The creation of the position was recommended by the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission and the Lake Winnipeg Stewardship Board.

Provincial water stewardship minister Chris Melnick says there's a lot of very good research work being done within Manitoba's university community but for that work to be really effective there has to be good coordination.

Christine Melnick-Manitoba Minister of Water Stewardship

We are moving in a direction where we are looking at watersheds in their completeness and their complexity.

The conservation districts of Manitoba used to work on an RM basis of geographic designation rather than watershed.

They're moving into watershed management.

We also see jurisdictions outside of Manitoba working on a watershed basis.

For example we work with groups in Saskatchewan on the Little Sask watershed.

Really the way to work with water is to understand and respect the natural flow, working more in union with Mother Nature if you will rather than in opposition and we believe this chair will help within the research environment at the University of Manitoba not only coordinating within U of M but also coordinating with a lot of the good work that's happening outside of the U of M environment.

Ms Melnick says the position's focus will be the watershed system in Manitoba and in particular how nutrients make their way from the land into the water and how we can reduce the amount of nutrients ending up in our water.

She says Manitobans are aware that more work needs to be done on water and while we have come some distance, we have to work together to help stop or slow down these points of loading.

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