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Spring Runoff Underway or Complete in Most of Saskatchewan

Eastern Saskatchewan near border starting to experience melt

March 31, 2017 – With above seasonal temperatures in February and March runoff is currently underway or completed across much of the southern half of Saskatchewan. The areas in the eastern part of the province near the Manitoba border and in the northeast are just now experiencing significant snow melt.

Above normal snowfall during the month of March increased the runoff potential within east central areas of the province.  Some areas received in excess of 50 mm of precipitation in March, which is about 200 per cent of normal accumulations for the month.  This increased the runoff potential for areas near Hudson Bay where above normal runoff is expected in lower reaches of the Red Deer and Carrot rivers and the upper reach of the Swan River.

While the snowpack is near normal in these areas, wet conditions prior to freeze-up are increasing the runoff potential.  Although above normal flows are expected to result in some out of channel flows in these basins, widespread flooding is not anticipated unless melt conditions are unfavorable. 

Runoff that occurred across southern Saskatchewan filled most major water supply reservoirs, including Cookson, Nickle Lake, and Boundary which were all at below normal levels in 2016. 

In areas where peak flows from snowmelt runoff have been observed, flows were generally near normal. While some flows have been above normal, particularly in areas in the southwest were multiple melt events occurred and in the southeast where the snowpack was above normal, there has been little to no flood related impacts reported thus far.

WSA will continue to monitor the 2017 spring runoff conditions across Saskatchewan. Further updates will be issued as the spring runoff progresses. For more stream flows and lake levels information visit www.wsask.ca.

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For more information, contact:

Patrick Boyle
Water Security Agency
Moose Jaw
Phone: 306-694-8914
Email: Patrick.Boyle@wsask.ca