Significant water releases have begun from Rafferty and Alameda Reservoirs in Saskatchewan.
The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority announced it began releases yesterday, in an effort to make space in the reservoir for potentially-high spring snow melt and runoff.
As of Tuesday afternoon, releases through the Rafferty Dam near Estevan were increased from near zero to 116 cubic feet per second and are scheduled to rise to 177 CFS soon.
At Alameda, the releases are scheduled to rise to 106 CFS.
That means the Canadian dams will be releasing a total of 283 cubic feet per second.
A press release says this is the earliest the SWA has ever begun releases in anticipation of spring runoff.
An SWA official says the goal is to provide one meter of extra flood control capacity at Rafferty Reservoir by February First.
Last winter, the SWA reports releases were begun in January.
North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple told KX News last week that state officials had been contacting Saskatchewan authorities, seeking early water releases in hopes of avoiding a repeat of the flooding problems this spring and summer.
The governor is trying to arrange a date for a meeting with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall soon to discuss changes to the manual that governs management of the Souris-Mouse River complex.