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Manitoba to Reconstruct Rivers Dam After Flooding

March 29, 2022 2:55 PM | News


Rivers Spillway - Lake Wahtopanah

The site of the dam near Rivers at Lake Wahtopanah in July 2020. (MANITOBA GOVERNMENT)

The Manitoba government will rehabilitate and reconstruct the Rivers Dam on Lake Wahtopanah after severe weather nearly two years ago.

In late June and early July of 2020, heavy rainfall in southwestern Manitoba caused record flooding on the Little Saskatchewan River that adversely affected the dams at Rapid City and Rivers. During the rainfall, the water level at the dam at Rivers reached record-high levels, affecting surrounding communities including Brandon, Riverdale and Whitehead.

“The heavy rainfall event that occurred in the summer of 2020 saw unprecedented water flows that put communities and dams located along the river at risk,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Doyle Piwniuk.

Piwniuk says interim repair work on the spillway was completed in winter 2021 and the dam has performed well since then, including during the spring runoff in 2021. The rehabilitation project will bring the existing dam to current standards so it can safely operate during extreme flood events.

The province has awarded a contract to KGS Group Limited to carry out the design work. The final design will be based on Canadian Dam Association guidelines, upgrading the existing dam to meet current standards so it would have the capability to pass higher water levels.

Construction will take approximately three years to complete and is expected to begin in 2023.