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Conservation Programs

The Northeast Red Watershed District partners with local landowners within the District boundaries to deliver ecological goods and services and to assist landowners in adopting Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs). If you are interested in working alongside the District to establish a project on your land, please fill out a general application form.

Surface Water Management

Water retention projects increase adaptive capacity for climate change, and add to landscape and ecosystem resiliency, including reducing peak flows and enhancing water supply opportunities for agricultural use. Water retention projects should enhance water management capabilities at various scales, including on-farm and watershed scales. Projects including small dams, temporary backfloods, or on-farm water retention basins, can reduce flooding downstream, improve water quality, and provide local habitat benefits.

The purpose of the water retention activity is to build structures that improve the management of surface water throughout a watershed to protect against flooding, drought and the impacts of climate change, and provide:

  • enhanced water storage;
  • reduced peak flows, which can moderate the timing and volume of runoff and reduce negative impacts downstream;
  • improved water quality by capturing sediments, nutrients, contaminants and pesticides;
  • protection to aquifers and enhancement of recharge; and
  • increased wildlife habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem resilience.

Eligible Practices:

  • small dam construction
  • other structures and activities for permanent or temporary water retention (ex: berms and gated culverts)

Riparian Area Management

Riparian areas are the vegetated (trees, shrubs and herbs) zones adjacent to rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands. A riparian area is considered a transition zone or interface between a waterbody or wetland, and the surrounding drier upland.

The purpose of Riparian Area Management is to conserve, enhance or restore riparian areas to provide:

  • improvements to surface water quality, by capturing sediments, pathogens, nutrients and pesticides;
  • water storage and flow reductions that reduce downstream flooding during high water events;
  • greater landscape resiliency to the impacts of climate change;
  • carbon storage and sequestration;
  • riverbank and shoreline stabilization and erosion control; and
  • wildlife habitat and continuity, and greater biodiversity through the re-establishment or rehabilitation of riparian vegetation.

Eligible Practices

  • Alternative livestock watering systems (solar, wind, grid power, pipeline)
  • Establishment of riparian vegetation, including tame forage
  • Riparian fencing
  • Improved crossings (establishment of new or improvement to existing)
  • Constructed works to stabilize erosion (contour terraces, gully stabilization, bank stabilization, drop inlet structures, enhanced infiltration systems, in-channel control, sediment traps, retention ponds and erosion control dams)

Wetland Conservation, Enhancement, or Restoration

A wetland is a permanently or temporarily water-saturated area characterized by distinct plant and soil types. The benefits derived from wetlands are extensive: wetlands help to prevent flooding, filter and purify water, recharge groundwater, maintain baseflow to waterways (especially important during dry periods), reduce erosion and provide extensive habitat to support biodiversity.

The Water Rights Act, regulation, and policies govern drainage practices in Manitoba. Under this regime, Class 4 and 5 wetlands are protected outright from drainage. Class 3 wetland loss requires compensation if licensed for drainage. Drainage of Class 1 and 2 wetlands can proceed through a new registration approach. As a result, valuable Class 1 and 2 wetlands across Agro-Manitoba are vulnerable to drainage.

The purpose of the Wetland Activity is to conserve, enhance and/or restore wetlands to provide ecological goods and services that include:

  • Enhanced water storage;
  • Reduced peak flows, which can moderate the timing and volume of runoff and reduce negative impacts downstream;
  • Improved water quality by capturing sediments, nutrients, and contaminants;
  • Protection to aquifers and enhancement of recharge;
  • Improved wildlife habitat and biodiversity; and
  • Increased carbon sequestration.

Eligible Practices:

  • establishing a perennial upland buffer around a wetland
  • fencing, off-site watering, and grazing management to limit grazing disturbance
  • Restoring a previously drained wetland or enhancing an existing wetland
  • Construction of water level controls for wetland restoration

Incentive Payments

If your property provides an ecological benefit, it may be eligible for an agreement for annual incentive payments.

Public Education

The District hosts an annual water festival for youth in the area. If you are interested in partnering with the District on any sort of public education with regards to water conservation and management, please contact the office by phone or email. 

Habitat Preservation

The District currently owns property within the RM of Springfield and is protected as a wildlife habitat.