Canadian Forest Service Publications

The potential for increasing water supply in the Saskatchewan River system through watershed management. 1986. Swanson, R.H.; Bernier, P.Y. Pages 485-496 in Proceedings of the Canadian Hydrology Symposium No. 16, June 3-6, 1986, Regina, Saskatchewan. National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. 12 p.

Year: 1986

Available from: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 19244

Language: English

CFS Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)


The Eastern Rockies Forest Conservation Board was established in 1947 with a mandate for the conservation, development, maintenance and management of the forests in the eastern slopes watershed with a view to obtaining the greatest possible flow of water in the Saskatchewan River and its tributaries. Research studies were initiated in the Marmot and Streeter Experimental watersheds to learn how to accomplish such flow maximization. The results from these and other watershed studies indicate that increases in annual water yield vary greatly with wind speed and the size of clear-cut pattern imposed, ranging from an increase of 7 mm with 10 ha clear-cuts and wind speed of 5 mis, to over 50 mm with 1 ha clearings under any wind regime. The eastern slopes watershed contains approximately 22,946 km2 of coniferous forest cover. If this were managed for maximum water yield, the increase in annual discharge would be 1,200,000 cubic decameters, an increase of about 7.5 in the average flow of the combined North and South Saskatchewan rivers. If the present system of forest management is sustained for 100 years, the increase in yield that will occur in any given year will depend upon that winter's wind regime and will be between 65,600 and 315,000 cubic decameters; representing increases in the average flow of 0.4 and 2 respectively.

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