The Manitoba government says it will look to boost defences along the Assiniboine River once flood waters recede.

Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton says that could include expanding dikes or increasing the capacity of the Shellmouth reservoir system.

Ashton says he's encouraged by comments from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who toured the flood zone this week and said the federal government is willing to talk about cost-sharing new flood-prevention measures.

The federal and provincial governments have spent almost $1 billions since the so-called flood of the century in 1997 to improve flood protection along the Red River.

Ashton says every flood provides lessons. And this time, the flood of the century is along the Assiniboine.

The province's immediate concern remains a deliberate flood most likely to come Saturday morning southeast of Portage la Prairie.

The government plans to dig through a dike and release water over a large swath of land, potentially affecting some 150 properties.

Ashton says it's being done to prevent a much larger, uncontrolled flood further downstream.

He has tried to soothe the worries of homeowners by saying the manmade flood will be controlled and very gradual.