Goal 5: Avoid Interjurisdictional Conflicts

The Prairie Provinces Water Board (PPWB) has considered a number of interjurisdictional issues over the year to avoid conflicts before they occur. In the last few years, the Board has discussed two Initiatives that involve hdyrological issues relevant to the PPWB.

Saskatchewan-Manitoba Drainage Task Force

In September 2008, the Minister of Manitoba Water Stewardship wrote to the Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority requesting support for interprovincial meetings of staff responsible for licensing drainage works, investigating complaints, and enforcing against illegal drainage activities. Through discussion at the Board meeting in the fall 2008, bilateral meetings were organized by the Board members for Manitoba and Saskatchewan. A co-operative approach to better understanding and resolving bilateral drainage issues was agreed upon.

A bilateral Saskatchewan-Manitoba Task force was created in 2009 to develop a strategy for dealing with drainage in Saskatchewan watersheds that impact lands in Manitoba.

PPWB Board members will continue to be updated on progress made by Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

St. Mary and Milk River Water Management Initiative

Both the Government of Canada and USA have committed to share water in the St Mary and Milk Rivers that cross the Canada-USA border. The St Mary River flows from Montana into Alberta. Battle, Lodge and Middle Creek originated in Alberta and flow into the Mile River in Saskatchewan that crosses the Canada-USA border into Montana. The International Joint Commission administers the St Mary/Milk River Board and Task Force to monitor and assess whether countries are fulfilling their delivery requirements.

To further fulfilling IJC committments of Canada and the USA, the Province of Alberta and State of Montana have been cooperatively considering how to best manage and share this water. The Alberta member informed the PPWB Board in 2008 of an initiative between Alberta and Montana related to sharing of the waters in the St. Mary and Milk Rivers. The purpose of this initiative is to explore and evaluate options for improving both Montana's and Alberta's access to the shared water of the St. Mary and Milk Rivers, and to make joint recommendations on preferred options to both governments for their consideration and approval.

The Terms of Reference for the Task Force does not include Alberta's sharing of water with Saskatchewan negotiations under the Master Agreement on Apportionment. Nonetheless, the Alberta member will inform the Saskatchewan member of issues relevant to Saskatchewan under the St. Mary-Milk River Initiative and Board Members for issues relevant to the PPWB.

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Page last modified: 09 September 2010

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