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Principles of a Desired Future

Dimple Roy of the Water Innovation Centre presents at the Lake Winnipeg Basin Summit (Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2010) on case studies from within Manitoba, Canada, and around the world, that exemplify five "principles for a desired future":

  • Systems approaches
  • Enabling policies
  • Strategic investments
  • Communications/outreach
  • Innovative technologies

These five principles informed extensive discussion among the 150 Summit participants on the topic of how to obtain a sustainable future for Manitoba that would include a healthy economy, resilient ecosystems and an engaged and informed public.

Roy introduced several international examples. One was the European Water Framework Directive, which directs all member countries to achieve set water quality targets by 2015. This ambitious program works on a watershed basis, requiring many countries to collaborate in order to achieve shared goals for transboundary waters. Israeli advances in water technology were also highlighted. By necessity, the country has developed innovative technologies to cope with water scarcity. However, the country now sees a double dividend through revenues from exporting this technology.

In the Manitoba context, the case study of South Tobacco Creek explained how farmers within the watershed have demonstrated a systems approach and innovative technologies through their usage of small dams, conservation tillage and beneficial management practices. The discussion also explored development of innovative technology to harvest marsh vegetation in Netley-Libau Marsh in order to provide bioenergy, reduce nutrient loading and sequester carbon.