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 low oblique photograph—so called because it is not taken with the camera pointing obliquely rather than vertically downward and the horizon is not showing—shows the thermal power station 1 at Brandon south of the Assiniboine River 2. The photograph was taken looking northeast. A stone weir 3 has been built across the river to maintain the water at the intake 4 for the power plant. The plant has three stacks 5, one taller than the others 6. A pile of coal, the fuel supply for the station, can be seen in the top right 7 with a conveyor 8 leading from it to the plant. A railway line with several sidings 9 crosses the area from west to east. Two transformer stations 10 are visible as well as several pylons 11 supporting power lines leading from the station. In the background surrounded by an embankment 12 is an area 13 where waste water is collected before being released into the Assiniboine River. Little person-power is needed to run the station; no more than about 20 vehicles are visible in the parking lot 14.
Low oblique photograph
Location: Township 10; Range 18WI
Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon
1:50,000 62G/13 Brandon
1:25,000 62 G/13d Brandon (Information dates from 1964.)