Alberta has released a new cellphone app that provides information about river and lake flows, as well as notifications about flooding.
The Alberta Rivers app, designed for Android phones, is available for free on the government’s website.
It notifies users of flood advisories, watches and warnings in effect, and also provides information about water levels, flow and precipitation directly from the Alberta River Forecasting Centre.
"After the devastation that happened in southern Alberta almost a year ago, Albertans told us they wanted more ways to get information about possible flooding," said Robin Campbell, Alberta's Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, on Monday.
"Having information at your fingertips at a moment's notice is something most of us have come to expect."
River forecasting director Evan Friesenhan said the new app will keep the public up to date with any water level changes, with updates going out within 30 minutes of fluctuations being registered by in-field water stations.
The app will also include weather and precipitation forecasts and information, in both maps and text formats.
In the future, Friesenhan said the province may look into adding in a feature that would include photos submitted by users showing local conditions.
So far only the Alberta Wildfire app is available for iPhone, but it's expected the other two apps will be available soon on that platform.
For those not interested or able to receive updates through their smart phone, Campbell advised people to tune into local news, as well as the Alberta Emergency Alert system, for up-to-date information.
"I would like to stress that while apps are a useful tool, they're just one way for Albertans to receive emergency alerts," said Campbell.
The app cost $120,000 to develop, said Friesenhan.