App tracks rivers, lakes

Albertans can now quickly check the status of provincial rivers and lakes, thanks to a new mobile app — Alberta Rivers: Data and Advisories — available free from the province.

Albertans can now quickly check the status of provincial rivers and lakes, thanks to a new mobile app — Alberta Rivers: Data and Advisories — available free from the province.

Starting on Monday, the application was accessible to Android users. It will be available for iPhones in a few weeks.

Evan Friesenhan, director of the river forecast section with Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, said people want information in the palm of their hand and the app will allow them to check on high water levels or flow rates.

“If an Albertan is wondering whether or not they need to be evacuated … they should be contacting their local municipality. Their local municipality has the expertise and is in the best position to do that,” Friesenhan said on Monday.

He said the information available on the app from the Alberta River Forecast Centre is just that — information.

“We won’t be telling anyone what to do with that information.”

In addition, the Alberta Emergency Alert app already available for Androids, and available for iPhones next month, complements the Alberta Rivers app with information about actions people need to take to protect themselves when disaster strikes.

He said Alberta Rivers app will relay data from more than 300 monitoring stations at lakes and rivers. People can also save a list of their favourite monitoring stations for quick reference.

Content of the Alberta Rivers app includes:

l A map of the province, broken into the major river basins.

l Flood specific advisories that are in effect.

l Notification to users when advisories are issued.

l Comments issued by Alberta River Forecast Centre.

l All current surface water data for Alberta.

l Data on current rainfall, stream flows and snow.

Friesenhan said rain drives flooding at this time of the year and right now across the province, generally speaking, high stream advisories are not necessary given the current precipitation levels.

He said snow melt will contribute to the amount of water available, but it’s the rain that drives flooding.

To access the Alberta Rivers app visit www.programs.alberta.ca/Mobile.aspx#filter=

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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