During Monday’s Weyburn City Council meeting, a report was tabled for the councillors to discuss the water levels at Nickle Lake. The lake, located southeast of the city, is the source of raw water for Weyburn. The report showed that the levels on the lake remained relatively good throughout 2022, according to Jennifer Wilkinson, the director of engineering with the City of Weyburn. 

“We saw overflow conditions well into July, and we have remained full throughout 2022, and then obviously we have gotten more snow this year which is going to help our runoff conditions,” explained Wilkinson.  

The preliminary spring runoff report from the Water Security Agency, released early last month, showed that the runoff for the area is expected to be near normal, or even slightly above normal. This is a far cry from the situation on the levels at Nickle Lake as recently as 2021 when there was little to no runoff from the winter. Despite the levels being considered good, it doesn’t mean that the city will stop encouraging water conservation measures. 

“A few years ago we were definitely looking at drought planning and we’re not changing anything in the way of water conservation because even if we are full, we want to be environmentally responsible,” Wilkinson added.  

Runoff into the lake is also good for the quality of the water that is drawn from Nickle Lake to be used at the Water Treatment Plant. The more flow into the lake helps to create turnover, as opposed to the water sitting and becoming stagnant thanks to very little runoff.  

The next spring runoff forecast from the Water Security Agency is expected to be released in the coming weeks. At that point, updated runoff potentials will give a clearer picture of what can be expected in the Souris River basin.