The first report detailing spring runoff across the province has been released by the Water Security Agency (WSA). Overall, Saskatchewan is showing below normal or well below normal levels of runoff. Fortunately, major supply reservoirs in the Southern part of the province are mostly showing normal water levels despite the dry conditions that led into the Fall freeze up. However, Avonlea and some other Western reservoirs are showing slightly less than normal water levels.

"In Saskatchewan, we are fortunate to have Lake Diefenbaker and I am glad to see other reservoirs in the province are at near normal levels," said Water Security Agency Minister David Marit. "In anticipation of potential dry summer conditions, a conservative overwinter operating plan focused on retaining water supplies is being implemented for Lake Diefenbaker and other reservoirs across the province."

To prepare for the possibility of low runoff levels in late Spring and a dry Summer, the WSA is proactively managing Lake Diefenbaker to ensure that water levels remain at least 3.5 meters higher than normal throughout the winter, while also storing as much water as possible in other major reservoirs. 

Long-term predictions are forecasting both higher than normal temperatures and nearly normal levels of precipitation from February to April. Southern parts of the province, such as Weyburn, are expecting the warmest conditions over the next few months. 

"Our network of reservoirs and canals combined with our allocation system means we can store water and prioritize to ensure communities have reliable drinking water, while producers and industry receive equitable supply that does not negatively impact our environment," Marit said. 

The Water Security Agency currently owns and manages 72 dams and over 230 kilometers of waterways in Saskatchewan. They also collect real time data from nearly 300 monitoring stations across the province, allowing the WSA to track and forecast the province's water resources and make timely responses to changing conditions. WSA is also working with communities across the province to identify their water supply needs and support the creation of drought preparedness plans. A full runoff report in March will be released once additional data is collected from snowpack surveys, with regular updates to follow throughout the spring.