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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.

Click to play video: 'Dry conditions in Manitoba causing big problems for farmers' Dry conditions in Manitoba causing big problems for farmers
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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