Manitoba Association of Watersheds (MAW) has officially launched the first phase of the Prairie Watersheds Climate Program (PWCP) - an up-to $40 million project in Manitoba and Saskatchewan that focuses on Beneficial Management Practices (BMP) uptake and awareness and is funded by Agriculture Agri-Food Canada’s On-Farm Climate Action Fund. The BMPs eligible under the PWCP focus on three categories: Rotational Grazing, Nitrogen Management and Cover Cropping. Programming will be delivered by Manitoba Watershed Districts and the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds (SAW).
“We are ready to roll,” said Lynda Nicol, MAW executive director. “There has been a tremendous amount of hard work and collaborative effort behind the scenes that has led to today’s program launch. We have been in constant motion with a team of internal staff and external industry partners ever since the announcement first was made public earlier this year.”
MAW is the lead organization managing the PWCP, which will run until March 31, 2024. Nicol says the project, in partnership with SAW and supported by key partner groups such as Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association and other agriculture and conservation groups, is set to launch.
“We will hit the ground running with our launch of this program. Prairie farmers have been waiting patiently. Now is the time to connect with them.”
Nicol says that the early days of the PWCP rollout will focus on producer outreach and program information delivered by Manitoba’s Watershed Districts and SAW.
"The program delivery agents throughout both provinces are experts in delivering land and water management programs, and we are excited to facilitate access to the OFCAF program that supports the adoption and education of beneficial management practices throughout the prairies,” says Nicol. “Manitoba producers are encouraged to connect directly their local watershed districts for more information and to discuss program criteria. In Saskatchewan, producers will be accessing the PWCP program through SAW.”
Garry Wasylowski, MAW Board Chair, says the grassroots approach of PWCP is a perfect fit for MAW to lead.
“The PWCP takes a grassroots, regional approach to address issues related to climate change in agriculture and supporting producers to implement BMPs that have a positive impact on Canadian agriculture,” said Wasylowski. “Our association is proud to lead this initiative on behalf of watershed districts in Manitoba and, through our partnership with SAW, in Saskatchewan. We appreciate the support of all of our project partners and the many farmers and producers they each represent and work closely with.”
Application intake information will follow in summer 2022.