11/10/2014 07:48 EST | Updated 01/10/2015 05:59 EST

Biologist says Manitoba's failure to use channel will mean flooding in spring

WINNIPEG - A University of Manitoba biologist says the Selinger government’s water management strategy will mean another major flood next spring.

Scott Forbes said on a radio show Monday (CJOB, Charles Adler) that the province’s failure to make full use of a channel to get water out of Lake Manitoba will likely contribute to flooding in the spring.

He said not having the Fairford control structure open this year is — quote — "a scandal".

The winter operation of the control structure is only designed to control potential ice damage in downstream communities on the Dauphin River.

The government has promised long-term relief for high lake levels on Lake Manitoba by 2020.

Don Clarkson, president of the Association of Lake Manitoba Stakeholder, said the lake's current level is two feet above normal, the same as it was in 2010, which contributed to massive flooding and damage to property in the spring of 2011.

“We thought we would have learned from our mistakes that the provincial government would have looked at the management of lake levels and said, 'We can’t do this again. We need to be smarter, we need to more prepared for spring runoff.'"