Lake Winnipeg is a valuable resource for our region providing ecological, social and economic benefits, as well as offering unique recreational opportunities. The benefits we enjoy from Lake Winnipeg depend on its water quality.
Many of our activities can impact our water quality. While some water quality problems originate from natural sources, human activities affect both the quality and quantity of our water. If we want to protect our water quality, Manitobans of all ages must learn that we are all part of our watershed, and we all have an important role to play in ensuring we have fresh clean water for generations to come.
The water quality of the Lake Winnipeg watershed is a direct result of both human and natural processes. The effects of human and natural processes on our watershed are far-reaching, influencing our health, culture, environment and economy.
Various processes affect the Lake Winnipeg watershed in many ways. For example, increased amounts of nutrients, especially phosphorus, from all activities can create algal blooms in a lake. As the algae die, it sinks to the bottom of the lake and decomposes. The water then becomes depleted of oxygen. This can affect life forms (e.g., fish and mussels) that require dissolved oxygen to survive.
Today, our personal and collective decisions and actions in the social, economic and environmental spheres, continue to impact the quality and quantity of water in our watershed. Small actions = big impacts. Learn what you can do to protect our precious freshwater resources.