Background & Mandate
Following the unprecedented water levels experienced in 2011, the Manitoba Government appointed an independent committee to undertake a review of the operation of provincial water control structures and the water levels on Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin and associated waterways.
The Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee will consider and provide recommendations on the following matters:
- The current range of regulation of Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin and the rules of operation for the Fairford Water Control Structure;
- The need for additional water control works in the future;
- The impact of water level regulation on the lake and surrounding land, including people and communities, agriculture, wetlands, fisheries, wildlife, water quality, and recreation;
- The most acceptable and practicable range of regulation within which the levels of Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin might be controlled; and
- Land use policies and zoning criteria relative to areas around the water bodies that are vulnerable to flooding.
Following last year’s record flooding, the peak level on Lake Manitoba was more than 1.2m (4 ft) higher than the desirable top of range, and in late fall water levels were still approximately 0.6m (2 ft) above the top of the desirable range. The unprecedented levels were a result of numerous factors combining to cause the worst flooding ever recorded on Lake Manitoba.
The ability to lower Lake Manitoba through the winter is restricted by the high potential of the risk of frazil ice jamming and associated flooding at freeze-up downstream of Lake St. Martin along the Dauphin River. Due to the current high water levels on Lake Manitoba and the need to lower Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin over the winter, an emergency outlet was constructed from Lake St. Martin. The ongoing operation of the emergency outlet in future high water years will require an Environment Act license including operating rules and/or a range of regulation for Lake Manitoba.
Lake St. Martin 2011-12 Lake Levels
Lake St. Martin Recorded Lake Levels
Lake Manitoba 2011-12 Lake Levels
Lake Manitoba Recorded Lake Levels