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Morden seeks solutions to drought

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Lake Minnewasta, Morden's source of drinking water, is currently approximately 1.5 m below its normal level.

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The town of Morden, in Manitoba is in a state of moderate drought, according to local authorities. The mayor calls on the different levels of government to continue supplying the municipality with drinking water.

Drinking water reserves in Lake Minnewasta, not far from the town, are 1.5 meters below normal and the dry winter has not helped matters. Yet Morden's 10,000 residents depend on it.

Mayor Nancy Penner indicates that backup solutions are being put in place by transporting more of water treated by the Pembina Valley Water Coop, a cooperative bringing together several towns in the region to try to share the precious resource.

Normally, we take three or four liters of water per second. Right now, we are at seven liters per second, which allows us to reduce water consumption from the lake, she explains.

According to Manitoba Agriculture, the entire Pembina Valley region received less than half the winter precipitation than normal.

According to the mayor, the municipality located a few kilometers from the United States must not only find more water, but also more money.

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She estimates a new water treatment plant would cost $105 million. This cannot be done without help from the federal and provincial governments in terms of funding, she says.

In the event of drought moderate, residents and businesses are invited to voluntarily save water. The City asks hotels and restaurants to only serve water to their customers on request.

It's just about making people aware of the need to be alert, says Nancy Penner.

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The mayor of Morden, Nancy Penner.

We are witnessing extreme phenomena, she emphasizes, recalling that the city experienced a serious drought in 2021, followed by floods in 2022.

For this year, the mayor thinks that a significant rainy episode could change the situation.

Because of our geographic location, we are prone to these extreme weather phenomena, she warns.

An associate professor in the department of applied studies in Disasters and Emergencies at Brandon University, Jack Lindsay, believes that emergency management and mitigation are not as well funded as they are. #x27;they should be in Canada.

Small rural communities do the best they can with volunteers, often without a budget, but we may not be prepared for the tornadoes, floods and droughts that could occur due to climate instability. /p>

According to the associate professor, although Manitoba has made progress in preparing communities for extreme weather events, the Emergency Management Organization's measures “need to be more robust.”

Right now, we don't really legislate in a way that promotes mitigation or preparedness, he laments.

The Minister of Environment and Climate, Tracy Schmidt, says she takes the situation seriously. “We are aware of what is happening in Morden,” she assures.

She pledged to work with other levels of government to build more water infrastructure.

The minister discussed Manitoba's water management strategy (New window), which she said is being revised to meet current needs .

With information from Riley Laychuk

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