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Reducing nutrient pollution to Lake Winnipeg

Target 3.5: Freshwater quality – By 2012, through strategic collaborations and by increasing scientific knowledge, contribute to the establishment of targets to reduce nutrients in Lake Winnipeg and its basin to support the sustainability of the lake.

Targets to reduce nutrients in Lake Winnipeg and its basins were established in 2011.

Since 2008, almost $18 million has been invested in the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative to support 33 projects throughout the watershed to help restore the ecological integrity of Canada's sixth largest lake. Projects include agricultural beneficial management practices, wetland and riparian restoration, and demonstration projects to reduce nutrient pollution.

In September 2010, the governments of Canada and Manitoba signed a five-year Canada-Manitoba Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate collaboration. In June 2011, the Province of Manitoba passed the Save Lake Winnipeg Act. This Act implements a number of initiatives, including regulations, as part of a plan to reduce the phosphorus load to Lake Winnipeg by 50% to pre-1990 levels. Scientific studies, collaborations and knowledge sharing between the federal government and Manitoba Water Stewardship supported the development of this legislation.

In 2012, the federal government announced support for the second phase of the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative (2012–2017).

For additional information on the implementation strategies that support this target, please consult the following website: Environment Canada.

Progress towards Target 3.5: Nutrient objectives indicator for Lake Winnipeg

This target has been achieved, as targets to reduce nutrients in Lake Winnipeg and its basins were established in 2011.

Future indicators of efforts to reduce nutrient pollution to Lake Winnipeg will make use of the approach used in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence. Information for this indicator will be available on the CESI website at a later date.


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