Basin Fact Sheets

The Saskatchewan River Basin is a vast and varied watershed and landscape that stretches from the Rocky Mountains in Alberta all the way to Winnipeg, with the Saskatchewan River Basin’s waters entering Lake Winnipeg. There are some unique and important features that make the Saskatchewan River Basin what it is. Below you will find some helpful and downloadable fact sheets all about this important and massive watershed! Click on the links below to download the Basin Fact Sheets:

Introduction and Overview

The Saskatchewan River Basin’s ecological diversity, and importance in Canadian history, are almost as broad as the basin itself. The word Saskatchewan is derived from the Cree word Kisikatchewan, meaning swift current. The Basin, one of the most diverse in North America, covers 420,000 square kilometres (168,000 square miles), encompasses three provinces and one state, and includes some of the longest rivers in Canada. The Saskatchewan River itself is Canada’s fourth longest. More than three million people depend on the rivers, streams, wells and marshes of the Basin – and share a strong commitment to preserving and even improving the quality of that water. 

Human Heritage in the Basin

Humankind has flourished in the Saskatchewan River Basin for almost as long as the river has been here, weathering several major changes in climate and ecology. Archeologists have found more than 650 sites throughout the Basin showing the presence of humans 10,500 years ago, and 1,000 years before that in southern Saskatchewan! Download the Human Heritage Fact Sheet below to learn more!

Water Management

Making sure that the right amount of water is available when and where it’s needed is called water management. It’s a complex science, a question of balancing everyone’s needs today against what they’ll probably need tomorrow. Everyone has to be aware, everyone has to be involved – and everyone has to be committed to help ensure we have all the clean water we need. For a look at some of the ways we use water in the Basin, click on the link below to download a PDF version of Water Management in the Saskatchewan River Basin.

Water Quality

It’s all a question of water quality – and everything we do has an influence on water throughout the Saskatchewan River Basin. Some things we do have an obvious effect – if we dump untreated sewage into a river, it won’t be as safe for towns downstream to use as drinking water. For a look at some of the issues affecting water quality in the Basin, click on the link below to download a PDF version of Water Quality in the Saskatchewan River Basin.

Wetlands and Waterfowl

Think of towering cattails, lily pads and leaping frogs, a pair of ducks skimming across the surface of a pond before splashing to touchdown. This is how the wetlands of the Saskatchewan River Basin look and sound. Different kinds of wetlands are scattered throughout the Saskatchewan River Basin. For a look at life in the wetlands, click on the link below to download a PDF version of Wetlands and Waterfowl in the Saskatchewan River Basin.

Hydroelectric Operations

Flick a light switch, plug in a lawn mower or turn on an oven in the Saskatchewan River Basin and chances are that the river is giving you the power you need. Hydroelectric power – electricity created by turbines driven by water – is a key product of the Basin. Nineteen dams produce hydroelectricity, fueling industry, lighting streets, powering homes. Learn more about Hydraulics operations in the Saskatchewan River Basin by clicking the link below to download the PDF document. 

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