Man. Farmers Flooded by Cut in Portage Diversion to Receive Compensation

Water diverted from the Assiniboine River flooding farmland on the southern end of Lake Manitoba in 2014 (source: Iris Yuill)

Farmers whose land was flooded after the Manitoba government decided to use the “fail-safe” — an intentional cut — in the Portage Diversion this summer will be eligible for compensation, the province announced on Wednesday.

Water diverted from the Assiniboine River flooding farmland on the southern end of Lake Manitoba (source: Iris Yuill)

Water diverted from the Assiniboine River flooding farmland on the southern end of Lake Manitoba (source: Iris Yuill)

Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn and Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said $1.15 million has been committed to paying crop and forage producers for lost production and land restoration.

“During our flood response, the Manitoba government used the Portage Diversion to manage water flow and provide protection to as many Manitobans’ homes and properties as possible,” said Kostyshyn.  “The government recognizes this decision led to flooding on agricultural land and losses for producers.  This compensation will be targeted to farmers affected by the use of the diversion and support their land restoration efforts.”

Around 2,500 acres are expected to be eligible, noted the minister. The land was flooded in early July, after provincial officials decided to open the side of the Portage Diversion just south of Lake Manitoba to allow more water to flow through from the Assiniboine River. The timing of the breach was later than in 2011 and other flood years, meaning crops were already well-established.

The province says affected producers will be contacted by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation.

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