A southern Manitoba water management company is glad to see the provincial government review its drainage regulations.

The province has launched public consultations on a draft regulation that would streamline approvals for lower-risk, lower-impact drainage and water control projects.

Chris Unrau is the president of Precision Land Solutions (PLS), which specializes in tile drainage.

"I think it's a great thing, I think it's overdue and it's been needed for quite some time," he said. "Tile drainage is still relatively new in Manitoba as far as a management practice that farmers are employing and adopting. Although it's hundreds of years old elsewhere...We're excited that the province is taking leadership on this and talking about it. We're excited that RM's are talking about it and engaging in conversation and we think through that, we're going to arrive at a place where it's become a more widely accepted practice like it is in many, many other parts of the world."

Unrau says he's hoping to see regulations that are consistent throughout the province, which will make things easier for farmers and companies dealing with water management.

"For us, as a contractor, it's a little frustrating having such enormous differences in different regions of the province and we think it's somewhat unfair that farmers in some parts of the province have been quite disadvantaged by the local rules. Just because you're farming in one RM, why should it be any more difficult to farm than in the neighbouring RM?"

In Unrau's opinion, the environmental benefit of tile drainage often goes overlooked. He says it can help to reduce the peak flow of drainage, slowing the water rate down, and helping to prevent flooding.

The province is accepting feedback on the draft regulatory changes until January 19, 2019.

 

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