Urban Water Quality: Shoal Lake

Urban Water Quality


Agreements and Licenses:

A 1913 Ontario Order in Council conferred upon the Greater Winnipeg Water District the right to take Shoal Lake water, at a rate of up to 455 million litres per day, subject to certain conditions. That license continues to the present. Water taking authorizations were also provided by the Government of Canada and by the International Joint Commission in 1913 and 1914 respectively. In the year 2000, the average annual average flow through the aqueduct was 227 million litres per day, which was more than 20% below peak levels noted in 1988. This reduction has been attributed to a water conservation program initiated by the City of Winnipeg (SLWWG).

A tripartite agreement involving Shoal Lake #40 First Nation, Manitoba and
Winnipeg was entered into in 1989. The objectives of the agreement are:

- To protect and maintain the quality of Winnipeg’s water supply
- To develop a comprehensive waste management plan for Shoal Lake #40 First Nation
- To promote the economic viability of Shoal Lake #40 First Nation

The agreement has a term of 60 years. Pursuant to its terms, the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba each contributed $3 million to a trust that provides income to the First Nation on a regular basis over the life of the agreement. In addition, the First Nation becomes entitled to 1/60 of the principal sum of $6 million for each year it participates in the agreement. In consideration, Shoal Lake #40 First Nation has agreed to regulate development and act to preserve water quality (City of Winnipeg).