Lake Winnipeg’s Increasing Eutrophication Algae blooms increasing since 1990s Phosphorus loads to lake increasing since 1990s Flood events increasing since 1990 Double the flow from the Red River into Lake Winnipeg bringing 2.4 times as much phosphorus(g. McCullough) Therefore, need to keep water on the land
Why Are We Here Today ? Why Are We Here Today ? Shared Challenges 2011 flood – hundreds of millions $, human misery, environmental degradation, 3.6 million crop acres flooded(38% of Mb’s annual crop land)& ½ million acres hay and pasture land flooded around Lake Manitoba $313 million paid in agriculture insurance Lake Winnipeg being considered the most threatened large lake in the world The province’s goal of reducing phosphorus by 50% Climate change increases threat of future floods and droughts Why Are We Here Today ?
Shared Solutions Keeping Water on the Land ( stop increasing Phosphorus by protecting remaining wetlands and by restoring some of man-made alterations over last century ) wetland protection targeted wetland construction engineered storage capacity
Multiple Benefits Flood mitigation - Reducing volume of water flow at peak times (spring run-off, floods, heavy rain events) Decreasing blue-green algae - Reducing phosphorus and nitrogen that is carried off the land in run-off - Drought mitigation - Building resiliency for future droughts by storing more water in small pockets throughout the landscape
What We’re Suggesting Investment in economic opportunity Innovation and clean technology - bio- economic initiatives - constructed multi- purpose wetlands –producing energy, fertilizers, habitat for biodiversity Investment in risk reduction( floods, droughts and lake degradation) – good for agriculture and all Manitobans
Resources Required Expertise and Manpower (Ducks Unlimited Canada, Conservation Districts, academic community) & others Financial - minimum $15 million per year for next decade (.125% of our annual budget)
Wetland Protection and Restoration Precedents Charles River Basin in Massachusetts - $10 million in wetland protection equated to $100 million in large engineered solution for flood protection( U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) (The Wetland Initiative, 2004). Restoring 1.6 million hectares of pre-European settlement wetlands (now used for agriculture) and preserving the surviving 0.6 million hectares of wetlands would store an estimated 49 million cubic decametres (dam 3 ) of water which is more water than was responsible for the 1993 Mississippi Flood
Ideas for generating $$$ 1.Environmental levy for fertilizer companies (eg.- IOWA) 2.Increase fines for illegal drainage 3.Reallocate some of existing drainage budget 4.Flood reduction & lake restoration levy 5.Mitigation banking 6.Nutrient trading All targeted to maintaining & restoring “water holding” capacity to landscape