After a dry start put a halt on the beginning of the season, the Ministry of Highways was finally able to open the Riverhurst Ferry last week.
The Ferry, that has been beached for the start of the season, was able to return to the South Saskatchewan River due to the continuous water level increase over the last week.
Patrick Boyle, spokesperson with the Water Security Agency, said that the drastic increase in water levels is mainly due to the massive rainstorm that hit southern Alberta last week.
“We saw inflows around 1,100 cubic meters per second, which is well above normal for this time of year,” he said. “Which was quite a welcome thing to many in the area. To see some higher water levels coming into inflows close to Lake Diefenbaker. So right now, the lake levels are about 552.8 meters and rising, and we think we're going to see some gains until the end of July now.”
The current forecast for July 1, 2022, is estimated to be around 553.4; approximately 0.1 meters higher than the summer of 2021.
More gains are also forecasted for August, moving the reservoir up to 555, which is closer to the lower end of a normal summer operating level.
Boyle added that there is still a large amount of mountain runoff expected to make it’s way to the reservoir.
“There's major amounts of snow, well above normal snow in the mountains and in many different areas in Alberta,” he stated. “So, once that melts, it's going to make its way in here. But, certainly a delay there. Just the temperatures in the Rocky Mountains, it’s been that way and we're seeing reports of people skiing still in that area, which indicates to us there's still a significant amount of snow that's going to melt, to make its way here.”
Boyle concluded that no erosion has been reported in the area.