A spokesperson for Seine Rat Roseau Watershed District is calling it gratifying, after a decade-long investment of time. 

Interim Manager Joey Pankiw is referring to the completion of their Roseau River Integrated Watershed Management Plan. According to Pankiw, this plan outlines actions to address land and water priorities for the Manitoba portion of the Roseau River Watershed. 

"It acts as a tool for residents and government agencies and other stakeholders to coordinate decision making and action across the watershed," he adds. "And it also helps us influence how we make decisions for land and water management and where we should be targeting our conservation dollars."

Pankiw says the plan outlines its priorities, such as surface water management and how the water flows across the land. This could include water retention or a natural infrastructure berm. 

Other priorities include groundwater management, surface water quality, ecosystem health and protecting natural areas.

According to Pankiw, the Roseau River Watershed occupies nearly the bottom third of their entire watershed district, running from almost Buffalo Point to the Red River. It encompasses the southern half of the Rural Municipality of Piney, almost the entire RMs of Stuartburn and Emerson-Franklin, as well as the southern portion of the RM of Montcalm.

"It's a very large area, going from east to west it's a lot of area to cover," he adds.

The Roseau River plan adds to existing plans for both the Seine and Rat Rivers. The management plan for the Seine River includes tributaries such as the Manning Canal and Tourond Creek, while the plan for the Rat River includes the Joubert Creek and Marsh River.

Pankiw says with the three plans now in place, the next step will be updating them whenever required by the province. 

"It's very gratifying," he says. "We've finally reached the point that all three watersheds are officially part of the district and we can continue the work that we've been doing right across the district, trying to protect our waterways and improve the water quality."

Pankiw says they have dedicated the Roseau River Integrated Watershed Management Plan to the late Jim Swidersky, who was the former Reeve of Stuartburn and led the charge to get the Roseau River Watershed into the district.