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Way to Go Winnipeggers, on Getting Us Even Closer to Protecting Lake Winnipeg!

Winnipeg is getting even closer to increasing the protection of Lake Winnipeg from harmful algal blooms. And it's thanks to Winnipeggers from all walks of life!

This week, the Province of Manitoba announced that it will be setting a clear deadline (February 1, 2020) for the City of Winnipeg to implement an interim phosphorus reduction strategy for its North End Water Pollution Control Centre (NEWPCC) to bring the amount of phosphorus it releases into Lake Winnipeg down to legal limits.

As research at the IISD Experimental Lakes Area has taught us, phosphorus needs to be reduced to limit the spread of those harmful algal blooms that plague Lake Winnipeg every year.

This is exciting news because it means that we are inching ever closer to ensuring that the NEWPCC—the largest known single point source of phosphorus to Lake Winnipeg—has an interim solution to tide itself over while long-term biological solutions to the removal of phosphorus (and other nutrients and contaminants) are in the works. (Those biological solutions are currently slated to be implemented around 2034.)

This is exciting news because it means that the International Institute for Sustainable Development, along with our partners the Lake Winnipeg Foundation, will continue to be part of the process on which we have collaborated and worked for so long, as we take on roles as advisors on the soon-to-be-formed project advisory committee to determine the best interim solution to take forward.

And this is exciting news because this milestone demonstrates the power of collaboration. It is thanks to all the interested citizens and members of the Lake Winnipeg Foundation, prominent members of Winnipeg's business community, governments and municipalities across the province and significant media coverage that has kept the issue alive. 

Congratulations to all the many Winnipeggers who have demonstrated their concern and are anxiously awaiting an efficient and effective interim solution for the NEWPCC’s phosphorus emissions.

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