Canadian runoff unchanged

The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency has released their latest Spring Runoff Outlook for the Souris River Basin. It mirrors the outlook issued Feb. 1.

According to the outlook, the greatest volume of runoff into the Souris River drainage is expected from Moose Mountain Creek. Moose Mountain Creek flows into Alameda Reservoir near Oxbow, Sask. and then into the Souris River. Alameda is in the process of lowering its water level as a precaution should runoff expectations be met.

Runoff into Alameda is rated at a 1-in-10 years event, the minimum threshold to invoke flood protection measures as described in the International Agreement between the United States and Canada regarding flows in the Souris River.

What is considered “local runoff,” snowpack beneath both Alameda and Rafferty Reservoir at Estevan, Sask., is rated at 1-in-15 years. That is the runoff that is expected to produce the bulk of water entering the Souris River this spring.

According to the outlook, “the heaviest snowpacks in the basin are located below the Saskatchewan reservoirs.” Snow water equivalent is measured at three inches in the Rafferty and Alameda basins and four inches between those reservoirs and the Sherwood Crossing.

Like Minot, Estevan received heavy snowfall in December but very little snow in January. In addition, recent daytime temperatures in the Estevan region have been above the freezing mark. Today’s Estevan high temperature is expected to be in the mid-40s before falling to more season levels by Sunday.

In summary, runoff from Saskatchewan into the Souris River is not expected to cause any problems along the Souris unless conditions change considerably between now and when the runoff season gets underway.