Water Security Agency
April 10, 2023

Potential for Ice Jamming Along Several Rivers in Saskatchewan

The Water Security Agency (WSA) is advising the public of the potential for ice jams on Swift Current Creek, the Moose Jaw River, the Qu’Appelle River and the Wood river following recent rapid melting and runoff. Ice jams increase the risk for potential localized flooding as they disrupt normal flows and can cause water to breach embankments.

While ice jams are not uncommon at this time of year, higher than previously predicted water flows have been recorded or are expected on Swift Current creek, the Moose Jaw river, the Qu’Appelle river and the Wood river and ice is still present on these watercourses.

WSA will be diverting water on the Swift Current Main Canal today to reduce flows through the City of Swift Current and have temporarily ceased outflows at Duncairn Dam.

Runoff within the headwater areas of the Moose Jaw river basin is higher than expected. At this time, flows on the Moose Jaw river are expected to be similar to March 2022 when the channel through Moose Jaw was at capacity.

WSA is also undertaking preparations and operations along the Qu’Appelle river system to manage flows; however, this will not reduce the risk of ice jamming.

Residents are advised to be aware of the potential for ice jamming and possible flooding upstream where it occurs.

The public should exercise caution as ice jams can be highly dynamic resulting in rapid changes in water levels — under no circumstances should anyone venture out onto an ice jam.

Warmer temperatures and higher flow rates may weaken the integrity of ice and reduce the potential for ice jamming.

WSA will continue to monitor conditions and provide updates to the potential for ice jamming and possible localized flooding as conditions develop.

For further information, please contact:

Patrick Boyle
Water Security Agency
Moose Jaw
Phone: 306.631.6997