The latest spring runoff forecast from the Water Security Agency predicted a below-normal runoff for southeast Saskatchewan, including the Souris River basin, which includes Weyburn. The forecast also called for Nickle Lake to have a level of around 562.7 metres, which is just shy of the normal summer level, but slightly below the peak in 2023.  

Nickle Lake is also the sole source of raw water. With it being the source of all of the drinking water for Weyburn, the levels of the lake are always watched by the City of Weyburn. The numbers for this year, though, aren’t a cause of concern.  

“We know that we do have a multi-year reserve within Nickle Lake, so we don’t get too panicked about the years where we do have lower water levels, or at this point, they’re considered average,” explained Jennifer Wilkinson. She is the director of engineering with the City of Weyburn.  

While the levels this year are expected to remain around normal, conservation rules the city has put in place in recent years will remain in effect.  

“We always have our water conservation bylaw in effect – that's been in effect for a few years now,” Wilkinson said. “Again, we will be encouraging people to set up rain barrels, only water on their designated days, ensure that they’re being responsible with their water usage. So, as it is for residents, they’re not going to see a change from the previous year.” 

The City of Weyburn’s Water Conservation Bylaw, passed in May 2018, allows for watering of yards of even-numbered houses between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Odd-numbered houses can water their yards on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays. No watering is permitted on Wednesdays.  

Those who have planted fresh lawns, or have laid new sod, can apply for a watering exemption permit, which allows for additional watering time for three weeks.