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.
The photo was taken looking upstream (to the east) with the building housing the generators on the left 1 and the spillway on the right 2. A dike 3 was built on the south side of the forebay 4 as well as on the north side (seen in figure 16.29). The riparian flow of the Winnipeg River 5 is seen in the centre with the irregular floor of the former river channel to the south 6. Pylons that carry power lines from the station have been built on cement foundations in the old river channel 7. A communications tower is located to the left of the generator building 8.
Low oblique photograph by Manitoba Hydro
Scale: Variable, largest in the foreground
Location: Township 13; Range 11E
Map sheets: 1:250,000 62I Selkirk
1:50,000 62I/1 Molson