SASKATOON – Flooding is possible in low-lying areas below the Gardiner Dam after the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA) announced it is increasing outflow in response to heavy rainfall in Alberta.
Peak inflows into Lake Diefenbaker are expected to reach 3,300 cubic metres per second (m3/s) on Monday with the lake level peaking on July 3.
In order not to exceed the full supply level on the lake, the WSA is increasing the outflow from the dam to 1,100 m3/s from the current outflow of 920 m3/s.
This will result in the South Saskatchewan River rising about 0.3 metres from its current level.
The agency says could flood to some low-lying agricultural land located in the flood plain downstream from the dam but less than last year when the peak outflow was around 2,000 m3/s.
Flooding is not expected elsewhere on the Saskatchewan River system.
Further downstream, water levels below Tobin Reservoir will rise about 0.2 metres around June 25 when outflows from the reservoir are increased to 1,600 m3/s.
The Codette and Tobin reservoirs are expected to fluctuate within normal operating ranges.
In Saskatoon, the boat launch currently remains open but fire officials are monitoring the situation and are urging people to exercise extreme caution in and around the river.
With the faster flow, no dives will be performed by the water rescue team due to the increased risk to divers, however surface rescues will still be carried out.