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
completely freeze over during winter, creating spectacular ice breaks
and dangerous conditions in Saskatoon, Medicine Hat 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 by diverting a substantial portion of
the South Saskatchewan's natural flow into the Qu'Appelle River. 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 kilometres (865 mi). At its mouth at
Forks, it has an average discharge of 280 cubic metres per second
(9,900 cu ft/s) and has a watershed of 146,100 square
kilometres (56,400 sq mi), 1,800 of which are in
the United States and 144,300 square kilometres
(55,700 sq mi) in
Alberta and Saskatchewan.
6 See also
8 External links
The river originates at the confluence of the Bow and Oldman Rivers
near Grassy Lake, Alberta. The waters of these two rivers, in turn,
originate from glaciers in the
Rocky Mountains near the British
Montana border. The
Red Deer River
Red Deer River is a major
tributary of the South
Saskatchewan merging 16 kilometres (10 mi)
east of the Alberta-
Saskatchewan border. The Lake Diefenbaker
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 approximately
19 percent of the hydro-electricity generated by SaskPower.
Downstream from the dam the river flows north through
joins the North
Saskatchewan River east of Prince Albert at the
Saskatchewan River Forks — thus forming the
Saskatchewan River. For
approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) 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
A 2009 report, produced by WWF-
Canada which analysed the river flow
on 10 major Canadian rivers reported that the South
was the most at risk. Climate change, agricultural and urban
infrastructure water use, and dams producing hydroelectricity, have
all combined to reduce the flow of the South
Saskatchewan River by
70 percent. Developers and governments have been cautioned to
protect and restore the river with sustainable projects and limit
water diversion. Dickson
Dam regulates water supply downstream on
the Red Deer River; the Bassano
Dam and 11 other dams divert water on
Bow River and in the
Bow River basin; and the
Waterton-St. Mary Headworks System manage water flow downstream of the
Oldman River. The proposed Meridian dam 30 kilometres (19 mi)
west of Leader and 95 kilometres (59 mi) north east of Medicine
Hat was cancelled due to project costs outweighing the irrigation
Saskatchewan River at Empress, AB where it receives the Red
Seven Persons Creek
Red Deer River
Pine Lake Creek
Beaver Creek (Saskatchewan)
Fish Creek (Saskatchewan)
Swift Current Creek (Saskatchewan)
Highway 15 bridge near Outlook, Saskatchewan
Wilson Island (Saskatchewan)
Sections of the riverbank along the South
Saskatchewan River are prone
to slumping. Since its founding, the city of
Saskatoon has dealt
with a number of slope failures. Controlling riverbank development was
a factor in establishing the
Meewasin Valley Authority
Meewasin Valley Authority in 1979.
Fish species include walleye, sauger, yellow perch, northern pike,
lake trout, rainbow trout, goldeye, lake whitefish, cisco, lake
sturgeon, burbot, quillback, longnose sucker, white sucker and
List of crossings of the South
List of longest rivers of Canada
List of rivers of Alberta
List of rivers of Saskatchewan
^ Atlas of Canada. "Rivers in Canada". Retrieved 2007-05-01.
(Webpage shows that the South
Saskatchewan River has a much higher
flow than the
Saskatchewan River. But since the South is a tributary
Saskatchewan River, it must be assumed that the data is
^ a b "Water.ca – The Water Chronicles". South
Basin. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
^ SaskPower (2012). "SaskPower Annual Report 2012" (PDF). Annual
Report. p. 18. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
^ Canada’s rivers at risk: Environmental Flows and Canada’s
Freshwater Future (PDF), 2009, retrieved 23 September 2014
^ De Sousa, Mike (15 October 2009). "South Sask River threatened".
CanWest News Service. Calgary Herald. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
Saskatchewan River Basin Water Management Plan" (PDF).
Alberta Environment. Government of Alberta. January 2004. Retrieved
^ "Sask Water to study Meridian
Dam Proposal". News Releases.
Government of Saskatchewan. 18 May 2001. Retrieved 18 May 2001.
Saskatchewan shelve plans for Meridian Dam". CBC News. 11
March 2002. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
^ Hodgins, Larry Edwin (July 1970). "Morphology of the South
Saskatchewan River Valley : outlook to Saskatoon" (PDF).
^ Clifton, A.W.; Krahn, J.; Fredlund, D.G. (1981). "Riverbank
instability and development control in Saskatoon" (PDF). Canadian
Geotechnical Journal. NRC Research Press. doi:10.1139/t81-009.
Fish Species of
Authority. 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to South
Partners for the
Saskatchewan River Basin
Fish Species of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan River – Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan
Hydrography of Alberta
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