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North Saskatchewan River at lowest flow rate since 2001

WATCH ABOVE: The province is asking people in southern Alberta to use less water, worried limited flows could stress wildlife. Kendra Slugoski explains.

EDMONTON — The North Saskatchewan river usually sees flow rates of 355 to 500 cubic metres per second. Right now the rate is 152. That’s the lowest river flow rate in 14 years.

However, Alberta Environment says there are no concerns. Officials say the North Saskatchewan is big and can handle the lower levels.

But, in southern Alberta, precautionary steps are being taken.

Battle River implemented a restriction, stopping temporary licences that would allow companies to take water (for construction projects, for instance) because levels are very low.

The Sturgeon River in St. Albert usually sits at around one metre, but it’s currently at 0.3 metre. Officials say less snow pack and very little rain is to blame.

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READ MORE: Soil moisture levels in central Alberta at 50-year low

The federal agriculture minister said Wednesday night he’s watching Alberta’s drought situation carefully. Gerry Ritz was in Calgary for the Stampede International Reception.

“We’re watching it, we’re analyzing it,” said Ritz. “I had a meeting earlier today with Minister Collier. We’re looking at what needs to be done under the crop insurance program, different things like that.”

The Alberta Federation of Agriculture has said the province is experiencing one of the worst droughts in 15 years.

The Sturgeon River in St. Albert, July 9, 2015.
The Sturgeon River in St. Albert, July 9, 2015. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
The Sturgeon River in St. Albert, July 9, 2015.
The Sturgeon River in St. Albert, July 9, 2015. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, July 9, 2015.
The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, July 9, 2015. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, July 9, 2015.
The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, July 9, 2015. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, July 9, 2015.
The North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, July 9, 2015. Kendra Slugoski, Global News