The Manitoba government has launched public consultations on a draft regulation that would streamline approvals for lower-risk, lower-impact drainage and water control projects.

“Manitoba is committed to developing water management strategies that promote sustainable agricultural production and water conservation,” said Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires. “The proposed Water Rights Regulation reduces red tape for drainage and water retention works while increasing protection for Manitoba wetlands, which play a critical role in the health of our environment.”

The Manitoba government is looking for feedback on the draft regulatory changes aimed at:
• exempting certain water control projects from departmental approval requirements including culvert replacements;
• harmonizing provincial approvals for projects that require a licence under The Environment Act;
• providing consistent regulatory regimes for drainage and water control projects including a new streamlined registration process for applications and approvals;
• reducing red tape by providing timely registration and licencing approvals;
• ensuring departmental focus on reviewing higher-risk and higher-impact projects;
• increasing flexibility on requirements for downstream landowner approvals;
• strengthening linkages between watershed plans, municipal planning bylaws and land use decision-making among communities;
• adjusting fees to reflect the true cost of reviewing project applications; and
• increasing protection of seasonal, semi-permanent and permanent wetlands by requiring compensation for higher-impact projects.

“The Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) urged the province to continue finding ways to expedite drainage licencing proposals by streamlining the process, so we welcome this announcement, which is extremely important for our members,” said AMM President Ralph Groening. “We want to thank the Manitoba government for listening to our feedback and we look forward to continuing to consult on the next steps.”

The deadline for feedback is Jan. 19, 2019.

Submissions can be sent by email to [email protected] or mailed to:

Attention: Drainage Consultation
Manitoba Sustainable Development
Box 16 – 200 Saulteaux Cres.
Winnipeg, MB R3J 3W3

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