The South Saskatchewan River is expected to see higher than normal flow because of heavy rainfall in southern Alberta this week, says the Water Security Agency.
Water flow heading into Lake Diefenbaker, roughly 100 kilometres downstream from Saskatoon, is expected to peak on Sunday, with an inflow of 1,300 cubic metres per second.
In response to this, the WSA started a spillway release at Lake Diefenbaker’s Gardiner Dam on Thursday, bringing water outflows to 520 cubic meters per second, and expects to increase to 900 cubic meters per second by July 6. That is well above the average rate of flow of 150 cubic metres per second and “ will be near channel capacity upstream of the City of Saskatoon in the Pike and Moon Lake areas,” the WSA says.
When that happens, water levels are expected to increase by an average of 0.9 meters throughout the system; some areas may see increases of as much as 1.5 meters. However, no overland flooding is expected.
“Water users are advised to move pumps and intakes and all individuals should stay clear of fast-moving water,” the WSA says.
On Thursday the WSA also advised the public that stream flows along the North Saskatchewan River will be above normal. Flow rate is expected to be about 1,500 cubic meters per second, similar to those experienced in late May.
The peak is expected to reach the Alberta-Saskatchewan border Sunday, the Battlefords on July 7 and Prince Albert on July 10. People in those areas are advised that subsequent high water levels can lead to property damage and to use caution around the water.
The agency will be assessing how increased levels of both rivers will affect the Saskatchewan River Forks where the two rivers merge.