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‘Substantial’ flow increase expected on North Saskatchewan River: WSA

Higher water levels on the North Saskatchewan River led to a number of low-lying trails being closed in Edmonton's river valley on June 21, 2019.
Higher water levels on the North Saskatchewan River led to a number of low-lying trails being closed in Edmonton's river valley on June 21, 2019. File / Global News

While flows on the North Saskatchewan River have been below normal over the first part of June, recent precipitation is resulting in a substantial increase, according to Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency (WSA).

Headwater areas of the river received significant rainfall last week, WSA officials said on June 24, with areas west of Edmonton seeing 50 to 117 millimetres between June 18-21.

READ MORE: Sask. landowners working together to reduce flood potential

Flows on the North Saskatchewan River are expected to increase from 320 cubic metres per second (m3/s), peaking near 1,000 m3/s. Water levels are generally expected to increase by 1.5 metres in response to this event, according to WSA.

Water levels at the Battlefords should peak at about 1.2 metres above current levels around June 26 while a 1.6 m increase is expected in Prince Albert around June 29.

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This will be similar to a high flow event experienced in June 2017, WSA officials said. They added that while this event is not expected to result in any flooding, it may impact ferries and water intakes, as well as pose a hazard for recreational users.

WATCH (June 13, 2019): Activities on the South Saskatchewan River

Activities on the South Saskatchewan River
Activities on the South Saskatchewan River

Flows from SaskPower’s hydroelectric facilities on the Saskatchewan River, Nipawin and EB Campbell, will also be increasing over during the week in advance of these higher flows arriving.

With Cumberland Lake at a lower than normal level and with low flows on the South Saskatchewan River, WSA said this event is not expected to result in any flood-related impacts at Cumberland Lake.

More information on river flows and lake levels in the province can be found by visiting the WSA online.

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