Manitoba has an abundant supply of surface water with many large lakes and thousands of smaller ones (chapter 2). However, much of the water is in the north or drains to the north where there is a sparse population. In the south dams and reservoirs have been constructed to conserve water in some areas, whereas in other places projects were designed to drain water from the land to make it suitable for cultivation. The province’s rivers offered enormous potential for hydroelectric power, much of which has now been exploited, starting with a small-scale project on the Little Saskatchewan River and progressing to large projects on the Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Nelson rivers. Two thermal power stations at Brandon and Selkirk on the Assiniboine and Red rivers illustrate the need for an assurred water supply. Flooding has been a problem since the earliest days of the province, especially along the Assiniboine and Red rivers culminating in the 1997 “Flood of the Century” in the Red River Valley. Dams, diversions and ring dikes are used to divert the floodwaters to less critical areas.
This large-scale photo shows part of the area shown in figure 16.21. The flooding of part of the spillway floor—dark-toned—is clearly seen 1, and the flooding emphasizes the embankments confining the Souris channel 2. This is a much older photo than that in figure 16.21, but a small dam west of the Souris 3 has already been constructed (it is seen on figure 16.21), but another one visible east of the river on figure 16.21 is not visible here 4. Only two dugouts are visible on this photo 5.
Vertical air photograph: A11050-363
Flight height: 9,520 feet; lens focal length: 6 inches
Date: June 29, 1947
Location: Township 1; Ranges 26 and 27WI
Map sheets: 1:250,000 62F Virden
1:50,000 62F/2 Waskada