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Manitoba Agriculture Drought Notice

Posted: 8/24/2021

Manitoba Agriculture
Supporting Municipalities During Drought 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions 


Much of southern Manitoba is experiencing drought conditions in 2021. Municipalities are working to 
manage impacts to their operations and to their rate payers. Some specific questions that have been 
received by municipalities are described below, along with additional links and contact information. 

 


What is the difference between a local State of Agricultural 
Emergency and a State of Local Emergency? 

A declaration of a local state of agricultural emergency is a serious situation, but not an emergency declared by 
law. 

 

Manitoba law allows for the declaration of a State of Local Emergency (SOLE). This gives a municipality the 
authority to use certain powers outlined in the Emergency Measures Act. These include: 

• putting emergency plans in place 
• using any property considered necessary to prevent or reduce the effects of any emergency or disaster 
• authorizing or requiring any qualified person to provide aid when necessary 
• controlling, allowing or banning travel to or from any area, or on any road, street or highway 
• evacuating people, removing livestock and personal property and arranging for their proper care 
• controlling or preventing the movement of people and the removal of livestock from any designated area 
that may have a contaminating disease 
• authorizing the entry into any building, or upon any land, without warrant 
• causing the demolition or removal of any trees, structure or crops to prevent, or reduce the effects of an 
emergency or a disaster 
• authorizing, getting and distributing essential resources and providing essential services 
• providing for the restoration of essential facilities, the distribution of essential supplies and the maintenance 
and co-ordination of emergency medical, social and other essential services 
• spending funds as necessary to pay expenses caused by the emergency or disaster 


 

Who can producers call for more information about support for drought 
impacts? 

• Contact your local ARD/MASC Service Centres. Find an ARD/MASC Service Centre or by calling toll-
free 1-844-769-6224, and by email at ARD@gov.mb.ca. 
• The service centres can provide information on AgriInsurance claims, refer you to help with wells and 
dugouts for livestock on pastures, list your hay or other feed available for sale, or connect you with a 
crop or livestock specialist for advice on drought-related production and herd management issues. For 
information on Crown land temporarily available for haying, you can directly contact the Agricultural 
Crown Lands (ACL) Leasing Program at 204-867-6550 or an ACL representative. 
• Visit www.manitoba.ca/agriculture and click on Dry Conditions and Drought. This site provides 
producers access to many drought related resources. Information about recently announced 
AgriRecovery programs will be posted on this web page as details become available. 


Where can I get information about water supply availability and 
quality? 

• Up to date information on water availability and drought conditions is available at www.manitoba.ca/drought. 
• The province has information on water supply capacity of most rivers and reservoirs. Contact 
drought@gov.mb.ca to ask about the status of a specific water source. 
• The Water Branch can provide information on your current well (quality and quantity) if available, and what 
the expectations might be for constructing a new well. Email your contact information, the legal land location 
and the information you are looking for (existing well information or groundwater potential) to Manitoba 
Groundwater: Drought. Feedback provided may include aquifer depths, potential pumping rate, and if 
available the water quality in the area. A listing of Licensed Well Drilling Contractors is also available. 


 

What do I need to know about accessing water for my business or 
municipality? 

• Water use in Manitoba is licensed under The Water Rights Act. Water use licence applications are assessed 
individually, based on project design and withdrawal location. More information on the licensing processing is 
available at: www.manitoba.ca/sd/water/water-rights/water-use/index.html. Questions related to water use 
licensing and permits can be directed to wateruse@gov.mb.ca. 
• Any water control work that restricts water or diverts, dams, or redirects flow is considered drainage under The 
Water Rights Act and requires permission. More information is available at: www.manitoba.ca/sd/water/water-
rights/drainage-and-water-control/. If you have questions related to building dams or water control works 
licenses and registration, email drainage@gov.mb.ca. 
• Environment Act Licences may be required for the following developments: 
o interbasin water transfers with diversion rates of no less than 0.5 cubic metres per second 
o works that result in modifications to lake or river levels and affect a water surface area of no less than 2 kilometres 
squared 
o withdrawals of water from any water body of no less than 200 decametres cubed (1 decametre cubed = 1,000 metres 
cubed or 1,000,000 litres) 





If you have any questions related to Environment Act Licensing, email EABDirector@gov.mb.ca. 

 

How can the provincial government help municipalities manage water 
resources? 

• Municipalities can contact drought@gov.mb.ca to be connected to resources and support from across 
government. Municipalities should contact the province before they run out of water so that timely support 
can be provided. The province is actively supporting several water suppliers across the province to manage 
low water levels. 
• The Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) remains focused on the consequence 
management aspects of drought emergencies. EMO can provide advice on when a state of emergency 
would be appropriate. Contact emo@gov.mb.ca or phone 1-888-267-8298 for additional information. 
• The Municipal Services Officers at Manitoba Municipal Relations continue to provide advisory services to 
municipal officials on matters of local governance, administration, and operations. They can be contacted 
by phone at 204-945-2572 or by email at mrmaas@gov.mb.ca.