South Saskatchewan River Basin
Sign In
                 main site November 23, 2014
Facts & Figures

The Saskatchewan River, 1939 km long, is formed by the confluence of the North Saskatchewan (1287 km) and the South Saskatchewan (1392 km) rivers about 50 km east of PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. The system of waters has a combined length greater than the St Lawrence River and drains much of the western prairie.

The South Saskatchewan is formed in southern Alberta by the junction of the BOW and OLDMAN rivers. It flows east past MEDICINE HAT, Alta, then northeast into Saskatchewan, past SASKATOON, and continues a course roughly parallel to the North Saskatchewan to the confluence some 130 km downstream.

The South Saskatchewan has been dammed about 100 km south of Saskatoon, creating a long broad reservoir, called LAKE DIEFENBAKER, which provides hydroelectric power and irrigation for southwestern Saskatchewan. From the confluence, the river continues nearly 600 km eastward through Tobin Lake and Cumberland Lake, Sask, into Manitoba, where it trends southeast past THE PAS and into CEDAR LAKE. The waters of the Saskatchewan enter Lake WINNIPEG at Grand Rapids and are carried to Hudson Bay by the NELSON RIVER. - Canadian Encyclopedia

The South Saskatchewan River is a major river in Canada that flows through the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

For the first half of the 20th century, the South Saskatchewan would completely freeze over during winter, creating spectacular ice breaks and dangerous conditions in Saskatoon and elsewhere. At least one bridge in Saskatoon was destroyed by ice carried by the river. The construction of the Gardiner Dam in the 1960s, however, lessened the power of the river and by the 1980s many permanent sandbars had formed due to the lowering of the level of the river.

From the headwaters of the Bow River, the South Saskatchewan flows for 1,392 kilometers (865 mi). At its mouth at Saskatchewan River Forks, it has an average discharge of 280 m³/s, and has a watershed of 146,100 km², 1,800 of which are in Montana in the USA, and 144,300 km² in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The river originates at the confluence of the Bow and Oldman Rivers near Grassy Lake. The waters of these two rivers, in turn, originate from glaciers in the Rocky Mountains near the British Columbia border. The reservoir was created with the construction of the Gardiner and Qu'Appelle River dams in Saskatchewan. Water from the South Saskatchewan flowing through the dams provides much of the electricity in the province.

Downstream from the dam the river flows north through Saskatoon and joins the North Saskatchewan River east of Prince Albert at the Saskatchewan River Forks — thus forming the Saskatchewan River. For approximately 60 km near Saskatoon, the Meewasin Valley Authority is responsible for conservation of the river environment. Numerous lakes in the Saskatoon area were formed by oxbows of the South Saskatchewan River, most notably Moon Lake and Pike Lake. - Wikipedia

Bow River

The Bow River is a river in the Canadian province of Alberta. It is a tributary of the South Saskatchewan River, and is considered the headwater of the Nelson River.

The name "Bow" refers to the reeds that grew along its banks and which were used by the local First Nations peoples to make bows; the Peigan name for the river is "Makhabn", meaning "river where bow weeds grow".

The river's source is from the Bow Glacier and Bow Lake in the Canadian Rockies. It flows south to the village of Lake Louise then turns east and flows through the town of Banff then through Canmore. The Ghost Lake reservoir is formed upstream from the town of Cochrane. The Bow then flows eastward to the city of Calgary; it continues on to form the South Saskatchewan River when the Bow joins with the Oldman River near Grassy Lake in southern Alberta. Its waters are further shed in the Hudson Bay through the Saskatchewan River, Lake Winnipeg and Nelson River.

Communities located on the Bow include Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, Cochrane, Calgary, Arrowwood.

This river is an important source of drinking water, water for irrigation and hydroelectric power. It also provides habitat for wildlife and opportunities for recreation such as fishing and boating. Bow River has a total length of 587 km (365 mi) and a drainage area of 26,200 km² (10,116 sq mi).- Wikipedia

Oldman River

The Oldman River is a river in southern Alberta, Canada. It flows roughly west to east from the Rocky Mountains, through the communities of Fort Macleod, Lethbridge, Taber, and on to Grassy Lake, where it joins with the Bow River to form the South Saskatchewan River, which eventually drains into the Hudson Bay. Oldman River has a total length of 362 km and a drainage area of 26,700 km². Its mean discharge is 95 m³/s.

In 1990, the Alberta government sought to dam the Oldman, which would have (among other things) flooded a Peigan/Blackfoot cemetery. In response, the Blackfoot, led by Milton Born With A Tooth, diverted the Oldman themselves, leading to an armed standoff.[2] Eventually the dam was constructed where the Oldman, Crowsnest, and Castle river systems converge. The Peigan Timber Limit B and Peigan 147 Indian reserves of the Piikani (Peigan) Nation and the Blood 148 reserve of the Blood (Kainai Nation) are located along the Oldman River.

The Oldman River contains fish species such as rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, bull trout, brown trout, hybrid trout species (rainbow and cutthroat cross), mountain whitefish, pike, walleye, sturgeon, suckers, goldeye, and minnows. - Wikipedia

Red Deer River

Red Deer River is a river in Alberta, Canada. It is a major tributary of the South Saskatchewan River. Red Deer River has a total length of 724 km and a drainage area of 45,100 km². Its mean discharge is 70 m³/s. The river got its name form the translation of Was-ka-soo which means "elk river" in the Cree. Communities located along the Red Deer River include Sundre, Red Deer, Blackfalds and Drumheller. The city of Brooks is also located in the Red Deer River Basin.

The river originates on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies, in Banff National Park, and then flows east through the mountains and foothills region. It turns north-east before Sundre and keeps this heading to the city of Red Deer, where it turns east, and then south before Stettler. It flows south with its valley protected by provincial and regional parks such as Tolman Badlands Heritage Rangeland, Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, Dry Island Corridor and Midland Provincial Park. At Drumheller it has a south-east direction, and while it flows through Dinosaur Provincial Park it turns east and flows to the Alberta/Saskatchewan border, which it crosses at Empress. It flows for 16 km through Saskatchewan before it merges into the South Saskatchewan River. - Wikipedia

Lake Diefenbaker

Lake Diefenbaker is a man-made lake in Southern Saskatchewan, Canada. It was formed by the construction of Gardiner Dam and the Qu'Appelle River Dam across the South Saskatchewan and Qu'Appelle Rivers respectively. It provides water for domestic irrigation and town water supplies and permits the regulation of the flow of the two rivers.

Three Provincial Parks are located on the shores of Lake Diefenbaker: Danielson Provincial Park, Douglas Provincial Park, and Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park. The world record Rainbow Trout was caught in Lake Diefenbaker during the summer of 2007. - Wikipedia

Learn more...

South Saskatchewan River

Bow River Basin
Geoscape Canada

The Bow River -

Bow River Basin Council

Alberta's River Basins - Government of Alberta

Partners for the Saskatchewan River Basin

South Saskatchewan River Basin Water Information Portal - Government of Alberta

Discover Lake Diefenbaker - Saskatchewan's Great Lake!

Lake Diefenbaker Development Area Government of Saskatchewan

Water Matters Society of Alberta

Bow River Irrigation District

In the News...

Faced with shortages, Alberta wants to make it tougher to resell water - 11/4/08
The Canadian Press

We've had our share of notable disasters - 10/20/08
Regina Leader-Post, Canada

Enviros try to block football - 11/07/08
Calgary Sun, Canada

Inter Pipeline Fund Announces Record Third Quarter 2008 Results - 11/06/08
Market Wire (press release)

Council going ahead with $25M bridge plan - 11/04/08
Calgary Herald, Canada

U of L, LC share research at watershed forum - 10/28/08
Lethbridge Herald, Canada

High Stakes in Canada’s Vast Oil-Sands Fields - 10/20/08
Flathead Beacon, MT

Report lists Canada's most endangered rivers - 7/7/03
Interlake Spectator, MB

Alberta's drying up - 4/3/06
University of Alberta

No dilemma for this fisherman: Flies are just fine, thank you - 10/30s/08
Chicago Daily Herald, IL

Tug of war over water - 10/24/08
Calgary Sun, Canada

Lake Diefenbaker region preferred site for nuclear plant: SaskPower report - 5/7/08
Calgary Sun, Canada

Lake Diefenbaker - The Ugly Duckling Story? - 2/27/08
The Illitaive Blog


More News on main site



All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced in whole or in part and may not be distributed, publicly performed, proxy cached or otherwise used, except with express permission.