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Water Security Agency Warning the Public of Ice Conditions Near Rivers

Jan. 17, 2015 - The Water Security Agency is reminding the public that winter river flows can result in thin ice and create unsafe crossing conditions. Warmer temperatures are also creating some very hazardous conditions across the province.

The Water Security Agency has received a number of reports of issues with thin ice across the province. The South Saskatchewan River System in particular near the Saskatoon area is an area of concern at this time due to the current weather conditions.

Winter flows are continuing to be released from certain reservoirs across Saskatchewan and result in active flows under ice on the major systems. There are also other areas where natural flows are still occurring and also pose similar risks to the public. These flows are expected to continue throughout the winter season. =

The warmer temperatures combined with many creeks and rivers seeing higher flows than normal for this time of year from the rainfall over the summer and fall months are creating some unsafe conditions which the public would not be used to. Many streams which are normally dry by fall were still flowing at freeze up and may continue to flow through the winter.

Winter stream flow is an extremely serious thin ice hazard. Any person on or near a lake or river should use extreme caution when crossing. It is up to the individual to ensure that ice on a river or lake is safe for crossing or winter time activities. The Ministry of Environment recommends the following ice thickness levels when crossing a water body:

  • at least four inches thick to walk on;
  • six inches to drive a snowmobile or ATV on;
  • eight inches for a car or light truck; and
  • 12 inches for a heavy truck.  

The Water Security Agency was created to lead implementation of the 25 Year Saskatchewan Water Security Plan. It will improve water management capacity and service to individuals, businesses and communities across Saskatchewan. This new agency brings together, for the first time, all of the major responsibilities related to water quality and quantity.


For more information, contact:

Patrick Boyle
Water Security Agency
Moose Jaw
Phone: 306.694.8914
Email: Patrick.Boyle@wsask.ca