Over the last few years of wet weather, the Shoal Lakes have been expanding and flooding surrounding lands.
The lakes only need to rise 30 or 40 centimetres higher before they spill into Grassmere Drain, with unknown and potentially disastrous effects on downstream agricultural and residential communities, said Steve Topping, executive director of Manitoba Water Stewardship.
Like Devil’s Lake, nature is positioned to make a mockery of concerns about water from one body of water contaminating another. In both cases, with or without a drain, it is possible that the lakes will find a natural drainage channel as it seeks a way to move to Hudson Bay.
In both situations, the problem is a policy to prohibit or severely restrict inter-basin transfers of water. Perhaps that policy needs to be reviewed in situations where nature will eventually prevail and water will follow its inevitable path to the coast.