Kehler Water Retention/ On Farm Water Management

South West of Steinbach


  • Reduces flooding downstream
  • Reduces nutrient loading into the Manning Canal
  • Healthier livestock
  • Increases carbon storage
  • Wildlife Habitat


  •  3.5 acre-feet* of water stored
  • .6 m depth of water
  • 2 cell retention
  • Culverts in retention have level controls on them
  • Ditches divert water from existing overland flow into retention
  • Series of swales to direct remaining flow around livestock coral

*an acre foot of water is equivalent to having water 1 ft deep spread across 1 acre of land

Project Overview

Brad and Carollyne Kehler of Kehler Cattle and Colt had significant water issues on their farm. During spring and fall of 2019, their corral and much of their yard were underwater. The Kehlers asked SRRWD how they could keep water from inundating their yard.  The plan called for a two-cell water retention that would have the majority of the water redirected into it, while a number of swales would be installed on the property to direct the rest of the water around the corral and yard. The project was co-funded by SRRWD and Manitoba Agriculture’s Ag Action program. SRRWD provided the design and funded the water retention while AG Action funded the swales to direct water around the yard.

Brad and Carollyne see the benefits of this project not just in their operation but for the community as a whole. While this project does helps keep their cattle healthy by maintaining a dry environment for them. They are just as happy to reduce the runoff from their livestock from going directly into the municipal waterways decreasing nutrients loading downstream.  The added benefit of water retention for the Kehler’s also helps their neighbours by slowing down the flows of water coming out of their yard.