• Lake Friendly

How does water move in urban human created environments?


The Forks, downtown Winnipeg

Our everyday activities can greatly impact the environment. Cities and towns have many people and businesses that all need water. Water going into and out of your house must be carefully handled and properly treated in order to keep the water healthy. Basic needs for drinking water and waste management must be addressed.

pipes below homes and businesses

We use a system of pipes that are buried under lawns and roads in our communities to move water. These pipes distribute drinking water and collect wastewater from homes, businesses and industries. In cities, wastewater is transported away from homes through a system of pipes carrying it to a treatment facility.

sun shining on lake

Many Manitobans rely on surface water for their drinking water. And for the majority of Manitobans, this water is part of the Lake Winnipeg watershed. Many communities get their water from the Assiniboine River, Lake Winnipeg, the Whiteshell area or other local surface water sources. Other communities may get their water from underground sources. Did you know that efforts to mitigate climate change events help to protect our water sources? An effect of our warming climate means that forest fires can occur more frequently which can impact our water. Just another great reason to be climate-conscious.

street drain

Because cities and towns have many hard surfaces such as roads and buildings, water must also be channelled appropriately when rain or other precipitation falls. Storm drains are used to collect and move this water to retention ponds or often directly to streams and rivers without any form of treatment.

rain running off roof

You can make a difference by keeping runoff from entering nearby waterways, drains and ditches. You can:

  • Set up a rain barrel to collect and save water for later use in your garden or on your lawn

  • Reduce nutrient runoff by using the right source of fertilizer at the right rate, the right time and the right place

  • Avoid putting used oil, other chemicals, or harmful substances (like excess fertilizers) down any drains or in drainage ditches

  • Minimize your daily water use: turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth and soaping up

For more lake friendly actions, visit our website and learn to do what matters.

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