Ag Action Project
With financal assistance from Manitoba Agriculture, we were able to provide funding for two local producers to enhance riparian area. One of the project activities took place on the south side of Burnt Lake, and the other on both north and south sides of Hatchery Drain. Both projects included the installation of a riparian fence and alternative watering systems. The first project, located on the south side of Burnt Lake, measured 2.6 kilometers in lenth, enhancing a total of 65 acres of riparian area. The solar powered water trough is to hold 500 gallons of water and implement a healthy water source for cattle. For the second project, located on both sides of Hatchery Drain, the watershed helped fund the installation of 5.4 kilometers of riparian fencing, enhancing 40.5 acres of riparian area. This project also included two alternative watering systems located on each side of the drain.
When lakes, wetlands and drains are attainable by livestock without restricion, the local and downstream water can be negatively impacted and can lead to eutrophication. One of our goals as a watershed is to eliminate those outcomes and to provide producers with sustainable drinking water for their livestock. Both projects were located within Swan Creek sub-watershed, with numerous wetlands. Livestock operations can provide many economic and environmental benefits but also have the potential to degrade surface water quality, groundwater and aquatic habitats. Through these projects, we were able to improve grazing management strategies and to reduce environmental risk associated with livestock operation. By installing 8 kilometers of riparian fencing, we enhanced and protected approximately 105 acres of riparian area. This will keep more than 280 cattle out of the waterways in future years.
These projects will provide additional benefits to farm opperation, as the access to clean water for livestock increases weight gain and overall health in animals. Implemented activites will be contributing to better water quality, greater biodiversity and wildlife habitat year after year. In the long run, they will also impove landscape resiliency to the impact of climate change, increase water storage and reduce downstream flooding during high water events.