Officials with the Municipality of Rhineland want to be advocates for drought-proofing in Manitoba.

Reeve Don Wiebe said the commitment comes on the heels of the 2018 conference for the River Basin Commission.

"We as Council heard about drought cycles and what happens to the Red River during these drought cycles. We also heard about what North Dakota is doing...on the western edge of (the state), the notion of building a six foot diameter pipe that transports potable water from the Missouri (River) to these communities."

Wiebe says he plans to further these discussions at an upcoming meeting with Red River Basin officials.

Municipal representatives also recently had an audience with Manitoba's deputy minister of infrastructure.

Wiebe explained they were motivated to meet following the Association of Manitoba Municipalities convention in November when Premier Brian Pallister announced plans to seek efficiencies and cost-cutting measures within the department.

"And so we had an opportunity to express our support, but also our concerns with respect to provincial drains, provincial roads and conservation districts that are based on watersheds."

He said local officials tried to indicate that there are unique situations in Manitoba, with the Municipality of Rhineland being one of them.

"In Rhineland ninety-six per cent of land is (agriculture), and so provincial drains and water management is all connected to having drains that work very well across the region."

Wiebe noted that municipal officials will be attending regional meetings and communicating Rhineland's concerns on the subject.

Meantime, Wiebe said the 2018 assessments that have come in are creating some challenges for the municipality's Finance Committee. Officials are crunching the numbers and putting together the 2018/19 budget.

"In that reassessment farm property rose twenty-nine per cent on average, homes increased two-point-six per cent and businesses increased four-point-five per cent. Because of this sharp increase in farmland assessment this means, to some extent, businesses and homes could very well see a reduction in taxes while land taxes see an increase."