small pond framed by greenery and blue sky

Lower Winnipeg River Basin: An opportunity to improve the health of our waters

The Lower Winnipeg River Basin (LWRB) is where the Canadian Prairies meet the Boreal Forest.

Carrying 50% of the annual flow to Lake Winnipeg, the Winnipeg River snakes through northwestern Ontario, draining Lake of the Woods before reaching Manitoba’s oldest hydroelectric dams, a decommissioned nuclear facility, and thousands of vacation properties. A history of forestry, transportation, mining, and recreation has left a mark on the land and water in this basin.

Grayscale map of the Lower Winnipeg River Basin

Did you know that:

  • The Winnipeg River reach between Pointe du Bois and Pine Falls contributes approximately 3% of the entire total phosphorus load to Lake Winnipeg?
  • The LWRB spans multiple towns and settlements, Whiteshell Provincial Park and supports six hydro generating stations, active mining, and tourism industries?
  • There is currently no watershed district established to manage the LWRB and no management plan for the basin?

This presents a unique opportunity to pilot more effective management practices and approaches. IISD has compiled data and information on this section of the basin and is exploring how innovative technologies and Traditional Knowledge can work together to preserve and enhance the health of the water—and the prosperity of the communities on the shorelines.