Water levels in Red Deer River well below average

With this year’s mountain snowpack long gone, the Red Deer River will have to depend on summer rains for replenishment.

With this year’s mountain snowpack long gone, the Red Deer River will have to depend on summer rains for replenishment.

More often than not in June, as the snowpack melt hits full stride, water levels in the Red Deer River are much higher — but not this year. The result is a much below average water supply outlook for the river.

Alberta Environment’s water supply volume forecast from June 1 to Sept. 30 at Red Deer is 66 per cent of average.

River and reservoir levels are now dependent upon rain, Jason Penner, public affairs officer with Alberta Environment and Parks, said Thursday.

The Red Deer River at Red Deer is running at only 18 cubic metres per second, well below the normal range for this time of year.

The river flow is controlled by Dickson Dam, which stores water in Gleniffer Lake. The giant reservoir is used to maintain enough water flow to meet needs of users downstream, especially during the winter months.

It is only 75 per cent full right now, putting it at the lower end of normal for this time of year.

Over the last few days they’ve kept the outflow at the dam lower than what is coming into the dam upstream, but the trend is that those inflows will start dropping off, Penner said.

“So that’s the problem and it all comes back to, will we get some rain in that upper part of the basin that can basically backfill what’s going out the other end?”

Although the flows at Red Deer are below normal, they are sufficient to meet the needs of water users and ensure a healthy aquatic environment, he said.

Beyond rainfall, there’s also the issue of temperature, which during low river levels can cause problems for fish and other aquatic life. But with more or less normal daytime highs and cooler evenings lately, it really hasn’t heated up the water much.

“Of course that can change. If we end up with a stretch of 30 degrees for five or six days in a row, that situation could change,” Penner said.

The City of Red Deer is encouraging residents a month earlier than last year to be proactive in water conservation.

The city is also working on a water rationing policy that will kick in when triggered by different circumstances, such as reservoir and river levels and drought. Different phases will involve increasingly stronger restrictions, such as odd/even watering days, specified watering hours, watering restrictions and watering bans.


Just Posted

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

Red Deer artist highlights the dinosaur connection of Alberta birds

Jeff Powers is fascinated by winged creatures

Murder charges laid against woman from the Sunchild First Nation

The 25-year-old female victim was found dead on Dec. 12

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

McDavid, Draisaitl with three points each to lead Oiles over Flyers

Oilers 4, Flyers 1 EDMONTON — Connor McDavid had two goals and… Continue reading

Tips to keep crime at bay this Christmas

RCMP offer tips for crime-free holiday ’Tis the season for joy and… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

WHL’s Thunderbirds, Silvertips open to NHL joining Seattle hockey market

TORONTO — The Seattle area’s major junior hockey teams aren’t worried about… Continue reading

Canadian freestyle skier Karker excited for Dew Tour’s modified superpipe

Rachael Karker has a renewed sense of confidence heading into her second… Continue reading

CBS settled with Dushku over ‘Bull’ star’s sexual comments

LOS ANGELES — CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year… Continue reading

Kanye reignites Drake feud on Twitter, alleges threats

LOS ANGELES — Kanye West is not sending Christmas cheer to Drake.… Continue reading

Councillors in Toronto, Ottawa vote to allow retail cannabis stores

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto have voted to allow retail pot shops… Continue reading

Most Read