Province plans lake release to deal with city water woes

The Province of Saskatchewan is planning a controlled release of Lake Diefenbaker to help out with supply issues in communities including Regina and Moose Jaw.

Release of Lake Diefenbaker a first in Saskatchewan, aimed at assisting Regina and Moose Jaw areas

The Government of Saskatchewan is planning a controlled release from Lake Diefenbaker to deal with water supply issues in Regina and Moose Jaw. The lake's Gardiner Dam is seen above. (CBC)

The provincial Water Security Agency (WSA) is planning a controlled release of Lake Diefenbaker to alleviate water supply problems in communities including Regina and Moose Jaw.

On Friday, the WSA announced its plan and said the release of lake water to replace a small portion in Buffalo Pound Lake is the first operation of its kind in Saskatchewan.

The WSA said the city-run Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant in Regina requested help from the province. The plant is facing problems due to weather conditions and algae blooms.

The hope is the extra water will make it difficult for algae to survive.

While plant officials said the facility has dealt with early algae blooms before, this year the growth is particularly severe and consecutive. The blooms began before the water started warming up.

Despite the fact that the City of Regina has urged residents to conserve water, the water supply issues at the plant are related to quality and not quantity.

The city is continuing to ask residents for a 25-per-cent reduction in water usage. 

Varying lake levels

Outflow from Buffalo Pound Lake to the Qu'Appelle River is set to see an increase of 10 cubic metres per second over a period of four days.

The outflow is set to return to its usual pace of 1.2 cubic metres per second and the levels at Buffalo Pound will see a 15 cm rise over a period of seven days.

People living along the river from Buffalo Pound to the town of Lumsden, Sask. are advised to take note of the changes. However, the province said that the flows will remain within the channel.

Premier Brad Wall said on Thursday that "decisions have been made" on how officials are going to deal with the problem.

He told reporters that more rain is needed in the province.


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