Water creating tensions between farmers

POSTED: 2014-07-24 20:58:52

Water levels may have dropped on both sides of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan boundary, but tensions between farmers have not.

A family in Tilston, Man., says man-made trenches in Saskatchewan are to blame for flooding that nearly washed away their farm four weeks ago.

Vicki Murray says because of the trenches, the water came too fast.

Saskatchewan farmer Bernard Bauche admits he builds trenches to protect his crops.

But he says his ditches are legal and what the water does after it leaves his province is out of anyone's control.

Debbie McMechan, a councillor with the rural municipality of Edward, says the Manitoba government needs to act, and fast.

She says the government is well aware of the conflict and the rising tensions.

"When people are pointing the finger at each other, they're doing it out of desperation,'' McMechan says.

Manitoba government officials say they are working with farmers and area leaders from Manitoba and Saskatchewan to mitigate any future issues caused by flooding.

They say they're currently investigating three or four complaints of illegal trenching.

The Saskatchewan government says it has 83 complaints and is currently investigating 15.

The Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan says there's an approval process in place before anyone can build a trench, but can't say if the ditches near the boundary now are legal or not.

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