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Residents advised of peaks flows along the South and North Saskatchewan Rivers

July 2, 2020 -- The Water Security Agency (WSA) advises the public of rapidly increasing flows on the South and North Saskatchewan Rivers.

South Saskatchewan River

A peak inflow of about 1300 m3/s is expected at Lake Diefenbaker on Sunday, July 5. This is due to high amounts of rain in southern Alberta earlier this week.

Upstream of Lake Diefenbaker, water levels are expected to increase by 0.75 m (2.5 feet) on average from today’s levels with some locations seeing an increase of 1.2 m (4 feet).

As a result, WSA is starting a spillway release at Gardiner Dam today (July 2) bringing total outflows to about 520 m3/s. The spillway release will be increased to 300 m3/s on Friday, for a total outflow of 720 m3/s. We anticipate having to increase the release to about 500 m3/s on Monday, July 6 for a total outflow of 900 m3/s, depending on how the inflows recede.

A flow of 900 m3/s will be near channel capacity upstream of the City of Saskatoon in the Pike and Moon lake areas. Water levels are expected to increase, an average, by about 0.9 m (3 feet) throughout the system with an outflow of 900 m3/s. However, some areas may see increases of as much as 1.5 m (5 feet).

No overland flooding is expected. Water users are advised to move pumps and intakes and all individuals should stay clear of fast-moving water.

North Saskatchewan River

Stream flows are above normal along the North Saskatchewan River, with peak flows expected to be near 1,500 m3/s. 

Water levels are expected to be similar to those experienced in late-May. The peak is expected to reach the Alberta and Saskatchewan border around Sunday, July 5, in the Battlefords around July 7 and in Prince Albert on July 10. The higher levels are due to existing moisture levels and precipitation upstream – Alberta is currently experiencing peak flows on the river system.

Residents living along these areas are advised that high flows pose a safety risk and high water levels could damage property and infrastructure over the coming days. All users are additionally advised to use caution around the watercourses within the basin as swift moving water can pose a hazard and to take steps to protect property where necessary.

WSA will be assessing the combined effects of the high water levels on the North and South Saskatchewan River systems beyond the Saskatchewan River Forks (the location where the North and South Saskatchewan rivers merge).


For further information:

Patrick Boyle

Water Security Agency