Grant Edel Retention

The Edel Retention is a kilometer-long dyke, located north of Ste. Anne, Manitoba. It was constructed in a low area of land belonging to Grand and Ralph Edel. The water that flows over the 320-acre area of Edel land drains into a tributary of the Seine River, known as the 48 North Waterway. This major drain commonly overflows in spring and during floods in the summer, washing out roads, threatening homes, eroding the shoreline and picking up debris along the way. The Edel Retention is designed to hold water back on their pasture and hay land for 72 hours before slowly releasing it into the 48 North Waterway. The project will reduce the risk of flooding by controlling how much water is being carried through the drain.Edel

This project was funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative and implemented by the Seine-Rat River Conservation District (SRRCD) board and staff with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

A deluge of rain over the Victoria Day long weekend put the retention to task after a dry spring. The retention performed as designed under the stress of this flood that would have otherwise inundated the local area and washed out Road 48 North. Local area residents appreciated having access to their homes throughout this high water event.

Completing the Edel Environmental Farm Plan opened the door for more project funding opportunities, including erosion control on the dyke, riparian fencing, and an off-site watering system. The SRRCD was pleased to do the legwork behind the resource planning and management needed to secure project funding for the Edels, allowing them to focus on doing what they do best.

Grant and Ralph began a sustainable grassroots project that transformed their landscape to benefit downstream neighbours, improved the health of their watershed, and increased the production capacity of their farming operation. The Edel project site gives meaning to the value of developing strong relationships through well-designed projects. We hope it will inspire sustainable innovation through similar grassroots projects.

For his efforts, Grant Edel was awarded the 2015 Conservation Award.


  • Reduce risk of flood damages for people, property and the environment in the main stem floodplain and in tributary waters
  • Improve stakeholder participation and awareness of land and water resources
  • Maintain, protect and restore surface and ground water quality in the Red River Basin
  • Manage urban and agricultural drainage systems to enhance productivity, while minimizing impacts to others


  • Grant Edel
  • Seine-Rat River Conservation District
  • Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Growing Forward 2
  • Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship