The Pembina Valley Conservation District (PVCD) was officially established by Order in Council on October 2, 1989, after four years of negotiations between local municipalities. The original members were the Rural Municipalities of Lorne, Louise, Pembina and Thompson. Pembina Valley was the sixth CD to be formed in Manitoba since 1972. There have since been twelve more additions.
The primary reasons for forming the Pembina Valley Conservation District involved concerns with the loss of valuable topsoil through wind and water erosion in the area. Water shortages for local farmers, and erosion of municipal roads, have also been persistent problems. The establishment and operation of a CD has provided local landowners with technical and financial assistance to participate in the kind of soil and water conservation programs that they feel are needed.
With the announcement of Municipal Amalgamations in 2014, the PVCD's partners changed somewhat. Our urban partners were kept intact, with the addition of the Villages of Somerset and Notre Dame de Lourdes. The Municipality of Pembina, R.M. of Stanley, R.M. of Thompson, Municipality of Louise, R.M. of Lorne, Cartwright-Roblin Municipality and City of Morden were all still members.
Effective January 1, 2020 the Province of Manitoba proclaimed The Watershed District Act. According to the Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard
“Our government is committed to becoming Canada’s cleanest, greenest, most climate-resilient province, and an important part of achieving that goal is to ensure the sustainability of our wetlands and watershed today, and for generations to come.”
With this proclamation the Pembina Valley Conservation District became known as the Pembina Valley Watershed District (PVWD). We became a true watershed based approach to watershed management in Manitoba.
Our Rural Municipal and Town Partners
City of Winkler
Town of Altona
Rural Municipality of Prairie Lakes
Rural Municipality of Lorne
Municipality of Louise
Rural Municipality of Rhineland
Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain
Rural Municipality of Argyle
Rural Municipality of Stanley
City of Morden
Rural Municipality of Montcalm
Rural Municipality of Pembina
Municipality of Boissevain-Morton
District Office Staff
Ryan Sheffield, Manager
Under the direction of the board, Ryan provides advice on physical means by which to implement board objectives, assists in preparing management and work plans, and assists in preparing project plans.
Lexine LeBlanc, Administrator
Under the general direction of the manager, the administrator is responsible for all district record keeping, including financial accounting and keeping minutes for the board.
Alma Thiessen, Assistant Administrator
Under the direction of the administrator and manager, Alma assists with the districts record keeping, including financial, writing articles and general office duties.
Randy Dow, Engineering Technologist
Under the direction of the manager, Randy assists with work plans and construction. He works with contractors during project construction.
Gerrit Maxwell, Assistant Resource Technician
Under the direction of the the engineer technologist and manager, Gerrit assists with the work plans and construction. He is also responsible for drafting the district project designs with AutoCad.
Manitoba’s Watershed Districts Program (previously Conservation Districts) is one of the most successful land and water conservation partnerships in Canada. The Watershed Districts Act, proclaimed on January 1, 2020, transitioned 18 conservation districts to 14 new watershed districts with boundaries based on watersheds. The program has also been modernized to enhance watershed-based water management in Manitoba.
Watershed districts are formed as a partnership between the province and local municipalities to protect, restore and manage land and water resources on a watershed basis. Watershed districts are established under the authority of The Watershed Districts Act. Each district is charged with developing and implementing programming to improve watershed health, while four districts also have a surface water infrastructure mandate to maintain provincial waterways within their boundary. Resources such as soil, water, forests and wildlife are all interrelated. Altering any single resource may indirectly or directly affect other resources. WDs provide an overall approach to effectively manage all resources as a unified system. It is useful to be able to view resource problems or opportunities within natural boundaries rather than man-made ones. For example, a problem in one municipality (such as flooding) may originate in another municipality (extensive land clearing). The WD, because it includes several municipalities, provides a means for people in different municipalities to cooperate in managing resources.
Watershed districts can also be designated as a Water Planning Authority for integrated watershed management planning under The Water Protection Act in Manitoba. They provide leadership in both the development and implementation of watershed plans. A watershed plan assists a district in planning long-term and short-term goals and identifying priority projects to improve watershed health.
Role of the Board
The PVWD Board is managed by six Sub-District Board Chairs, a Board Chairperson and an additional member who represents the Province as a Provincial Appointee. Each Rural Municipality within the district appoints two people to the sub-district, only one of who may be a councilor. The entire board meets in March each year for our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and decides who will be the chairman and vice-chairman of the sub-district. When one of the sub-district chairmen is elected chairman of the district board, that sub-district shall appoint a second member to sit on the district board and serve as sub-district chairman.
The district board is responsible and accountable for all matters relating to its programs. The board will hire staff to assist with programs and to carry out projects and that have been approved.