Lakes and Rivers

Buffalo Pound Lake

Buffalo Pound is the first major lake the Qu’Appelle River reaches after leaving Lake Diefenbaker by releases from the Qu’Appelle River Dam.  Located 100 km southeast of Lake Diefenbaker, and approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Moose Jaw, Buffalo Pound Lake serves as a significant source of water and recreation for southern Saskatchewan.

The original Buffalo Pound Lake control structure and dam were constructed by PFRA in 1939.  A new control structure and improvements to the dam were completed and placed into operation in 2000, assuring a safe, reliable and sustainable source of water for future generations of Saskatchewan residents.

What is the Buffalo Pound Dam?

Located on the northeast side of the lake, the dam of earth and rock rip-rap stretches 1,400 metres across the valley floor and features as its centrepiece a three-bay control structure with operational gates, a large gated riparian outlet and a traffic bridge.  A fish ladder installed during the 1999-2000 project, provides fish a passageway between the lake and the Qu’Appelle River.  The dam and control structure are important for managing water along the Qu’Appelle River; providing a stable source of water for direct use from the lake and for downstream users.

What is the capacity of the reservoir?

The Full Supply Level of Buffalo Pound Lake is 509.47 metres above sea level. At Full Supply Level the lake holds approximately 91,987 cubic decametres of water. 

What are some of the uses of Buffalo Pound Lake?

The lake serves as a principal source of water for approximately 25 per cent of the province’s population, including the cities of Regina and Moose Jaw and several small communities.  Major Belle Plaine-area industries of Mosaic Potash and YARA Belle Plaine Inc. also use lake water in their operations.  Flanked by Buffalo Pound Provincial Park and several adjacent cottage developments, the lake is also the heart of a flourishing recreational area.

Who owns the Buffalo Pound Dam?

The Water Security Agency owns and operates the control structure and related works which impound Buffalo Pound Lake.  The Water Security Agency also owns 68 other dams throughout the province, including Gardiner, Rafferty, Alameda and Qu'Appelle River dams.