October 15, 2019
The Souris River Joint Board is continuously assessing flood risk within the Souris River basin in North Dakota. While Minot experienced record rainfall of approximately 8 inches in September, communities upstream of Minot experienced less. Estevan, Saskatchewan, recorded approximately 6 inches of rainfall in September and Weyburn, Saskatchewan, recorded slightly less than 4 inches of rainfall in September.
Soil moisture conditions heading into winter are one of several flood risk drivers. Others include snowpack, reservoir levels, precipitation forecasts, etc. Recent snow is expected to thaw and run off in the coming weeks. Reservoirs in Saskatchewan are currently below their prescribed water surface levels. The National Weather Service has indicated in its three month outlook that precipitation levels are supposed to remain at or around normal in southern Saskatchewan.
At this point, the SRJB does not feel that it is time to be overly concerned with our spring flood risk. As conditions change throughout the winter, the various risk drivers will be evaluated and corresponding flood risk management activities will be undertaken, if warranted.
International Souris River Study Board Progress
The International Souris River Study Board was convened in 2012 to assess and advise recommendations on the Operating Plan of the 1989 agreement overseeing the operations of the Souris River Basin. The board has conducted a number of tasks with the main tasks being an operating rules review, data collection and management, hydrology and hydraulics, and plan formulation. A draft work plan was released to the public in 2018 requesting comments and feedback. Efforts continue in an effort to assess the operations and determine if changes would be helpful.
The International Souris River Study Board is comprised of US and Canadian representatives within the Souris River Basin. Members were appointed by the International Joint Commission, who oversees transboundary waters of the US and Canada. Recommendations will be presented to the International Joint Commission in January 2021.
More information can be found here.