Water Security Agency
June 20, 2023

High Water Flow Advisory on North Saskatchewan River

The Water Security Agency (WSA) is advising communities and residents along the North Saskatchewan River of the potential for high flows following significant rainfall over headwaters in Alberta.

Over the past few days, areas southwest of Edmonton have received up to 180 mm (7 inches) of precipitation, with some snow at higher elevations, and widespread accumulations in excess of 100 mm (4 inches). This will cause a significant increase in flows on the North Saskatchewan River from the current 280 m3/s to an expected peak of 1100 to 1200 m3/s.

Peak flows are expected to reach the AB-SK border on or near Friday June 23, North Battleford on about Saturday June 24, Borden on Monday June 26, and pass through to Prince Albert by about Wednesday June 28.

Water levels on the river are expected to rise about 2 metres (6.5 feet) from existing levels and are expected to be slightly lower than the peak levels observed in June 2022.

While flooding is not expected at this time, there is the possibility for localized out of channel flows and high stream flows along the North Saskatchewan River potentially impacting communities, irrigators, ranchers, ferry operators and recreational users.

Reservoirs further downstream on the Saskatchewan River at Codette Lake and Tobin Lake will be lowered by SaskPower to help absorb high flows along the Saskatchewan River at and below Nipawin. With low flows on the South Saskatchewan River, no impacts are anticipated below the forks on the Saskatchewan River including at Cumberland Lake.

WSA advises the public to take precautions near water bodies as flows can change quickly. If you see areas of high flow, please keep your distance.

WSA will continue to monitor conditions and provide updates, including issuing a 10-day forecast for the Saskatchewan River System on Thursday, June 22.

For more information, please contact:

Sean Osmar