May 13, 2014 3:38 pm

Higher water levels expected on South Saskatchewan River

A file photo of the South Saskatchewan River. The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency is increasing the release from the Gardiner Dam, and the level of the South Saskatchewan River is expected to rise three to four feet.

Brent McGillivray / Global News

SASKATOON – Faster flows and higher water levels are expected on the South Saskatchewan River after the Water Security Agency (WSA) announced it will be increasing the release from the Gardiner Dam.

The current flow of 370 cubic metres-per-second (m3/s) is expected to increase to 800 m3/s by Sunday in Saskatoon.

That translates to an increase of three to four feet on the bridge piers.

By comparison, last year’s peak flow was 2,000 m3/s.

The increased flow is expected to last until the end of May or early June.

Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA) said the increased water flow can be hazardous for novice canoeists as the water is being released from the bottom of the dam and is extremely cold.

It is also warning sandbars and shorelines can become unstable.

MVA is also advising river users that the Popular Bluffs canoe launch is closed until further notice due to a slump failure last fall, causing the riverbank to become unstable and making the current much stronger due to a narrowing of the river channel.

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