Below Normal Flows Expected To Continue Throughout Much Of Saskatchewan
June 15, 2021 – Today, the Water Security Agency released its Water Supply Outlook report for June 2021. This report provides a periodic update on expected water lake levels and supply across the province and will be updated monthly until October 2021.
Conditions remain dry throughout much of southern and central Saskatchewan. With the rainfall received throughout the month of May, soil moisture conditions have improved slightly across most of the grain belt, but still generally remain drier than normal. Most of this area is experiencing drier than normal conditions that range from moderate in the west to severe in the southeast.
In the north, much of the Churchill River and Lake Athabasca basins experienced wet conditions throughout 2020 and went into the winter with above normal flows. While flows have not yet peaked in all areas from the spring runoff, flows are generally well above normal primarily due to the wet conditions last fall.
Inflows into Lake Diefenbaker on the South Saskatchewan River are currently below normal for this time of year. The dry conditions across Alberta are expected to have negative impacts to the inflows into Lake Diefenbaker, resulting in below normal water levels and outflows, however we are within our operational range. With dry conditions persisting over southern Alberta, resulting in below normal runoff and increased irrigation withdrawals, flows are expected to remain low on the South Saskatchewan River above and below Lake Diefenbaker. Lake levels are expected to remain lower than normal over the coming week. Significant precipitation over southern Alberta would be needed to bring levels closer to normal.
Flows throughout the Saskatchewan River System are expected to remain below normal throughout the summer due to lower flows on the South Saskatchewan River, while the North Saskatchewan River is expected to be near normal throughout the remainder of June.
On the Qu’Appelle River System releases are being made from Lake Diefenbaker to help maintain desirable summer water levels on most of the lakes with the exception of Last Mountain and Round lakes, which are expected to remain low throughout the summer. Lakes and reservoir levels in the Souris River Basin remain below normal. Releases are being made from Rafferty Reservoir to help supplement downstream water supplies and to meet international obligations.
Lake and reservoir levels across much of southern Saskatchewan remain well below normal. WSA has experienced an increase in requests to pump water from alternative sources to replenish dugouts.
To see the full report, please visit wsask.ca.
For further information, please contact:
Water Security Agency