Council for the Municipality of Rhineland is offering its voice to a provincial plan to streamline drainage and water retention approvals. The draft Water Rights Regulation also includes tile drainage applications which get final approval from the province following an opportunity for feedback from the local municipality.
Rhineland Reeve, Don Wiebe, says the proposed simplified procedure is a good thing, however he noted that council wants to review with the Province how it plans to monitor and enforce licenses into the future.
"In our mind that's not quite clear and we have some concerns about that," he explained. "We have very good compliance right now, but in order to do that the rules have to be clear and they have to be enforced."
It is also a matter of ensuring that all drain tile is put in by certified installers.
Wiebe added he's also hearing from local installers who are interested in a simplified approval process, but also one that is done in a sustainable way.
Additionally, Council would like access to a map that indicates where drain tiles are located in order to better plan for future municipal infrastructure.
"As we plan our municipal infrastructure we need to know what's been put there, and so it's pretty critical that we understand where the drain tiles are, where the outlets are and how we accommodate that into our system," said Wiebe.
According to statistics from the Municipality, drain tile applications in Rhineland have nearly doubled in two short years - from 12 in 2016 to 22 in 2018 - and Wiebe expects that number to continue to grow.
"Generally speaking, the research says that crop production has increased by twenty to forty percent, that is the Southern Ontario experience, and even in some of the heavier soils we are seeing people considering drain tile applications."
The deadline for feedback in the provincial consultation process is Jan. 19, 2019.
Submissions can be sent by email to [email protected] or mailed to:
Attention: Drainage Consultation
Manitoba Sustainable Development
Box 16 – 200 Saulteaux Cres.
Winnipeg, MB R3J 3W3