Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Return watershed to wetlands

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Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files
Water is diverted north from the Assiniboine River to Lake Manitoba at the Portage Diversion.

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Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files Water is diverted north from the Assiniboine River to Lake Manitoba at the Portage Diversion.

Re: Another dying lake? (Editorial, Aug. 5). A changing climate means changing attitudes and actions, and the editorial board is correct in saying that a new strategy must be developed to manage flood waters along the Assiniboine River.

Conservation and restoration of wetlands and forest cover are key to addressing the growing issue of flooding rivers. Much of the Assiniboine watershed was wetland before being drained for agricultural purposes -- it only makes sense we have seen more and more flooding as water has been diverted from wetlands into the river.

As the editorial points out, the current system of drainage is dramatically different than it would be without human influence. Our best bet for decreasing the economic and social impacts of flooding is to return some of the watershed's natural water-storing wetlands and forests to prevent excess water from entering the river to begin with. This in turn would benefit Lake Manitoba, as less phosphorous-rich flood water would be discharged.

Rebecca Froese

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 8, 2014 A10

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