Soil moisture, river levels are near record lows in many areas of Manitoba, province says

Manitoba Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Lambert

The Manitoba government says ongoing dry weather has pushed river levels and soil moisture to near-record lows in many areas.

Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler says low precipitation amounts dating back to last September show no sign of letting up.

Read more: Could this be Manitoba’s driest year on record?

He says most southern and central water basins have received 200 to 250 mm less precipitation than normal in that time.

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Dry conditions in Manitoba causing big problems for farmers – Jul 14, 2021

Schuler says Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin and Lake Winnipegosis are all at historic lows.

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Read more: Collaboration between crop, livestock producers could be key to salvaging dry Manitoba summer

Manitoba’s agriculture minister has emergency powers in the event of a severe water shortage, including cancellation of water usage licences and permits.

Schuler raised the powers as a possibility, but says there’s been no discussion yet on invoking them.

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