7. Investing in a Clean Water Economy
Phosphorus loading to Lake Winnipeg is a problem – but it also represents an opportunity for technological innovation and sustainable economic development. Developing innovative water policies for nutrient management while promoting bio-economic development is a win-win strategy for a healthy lake and a healthy economy. Moreover, the challenges facing Lake Winnipeg are not isolated; harmful algae blooms are affecting ecosystems throughout North America and around the world. In 2013, toxic blue-green algae blooms were reported in all 10 Canadian provinces, while 147 algae warnings were posted throughout 21 American states (H2O: Ideas and actions for Canada’s Water; Resource Media and the National Wildlife Federation, 2013). New, made-in-Manitoba solutions could be developed and exported to jurisdictions facing similar problems.
Manitoba’s current regulatory climate does not allow for the easy development and implementation of new initiatives or policies. Innovators are hampered and frustrated by red tape. Reports gather dust on shelves. Pilot projects are not tested. Economic opportunities are missed.
With Action 7 of the Lake Winnipeg Health Plan, Investing in a Clean Water Economy, LWF will encourage a regulatory climate in which innovative economic and environmental policies are fostered, red tape is removed, and new technologies can be tested to demonstrate their effectiveness and then brought to market. We will explore new partnerships, and support new initiatives through promotion and grant funding.