Information regarding the reservoirs that support the Bow River Irrigation District is found on this page.
McGregor, Travers, and Little Bow Reservoirs Operations Outlook September 6, 2023
These reservoirs are owned by the Government of Alberta. Their primary purpose is supplying water for the Bow River Irrigation District.
All reservoir levels are below normal due to low river flow and high irrigation demand this year. On September 6 the total storage in these reservoirs was 273,000 acre feet, which is 53,000 acre feet below the normal winter storage volume. Diversion from the reservoirs will end on October 2, a week earlier than normal. Diversion from the river will continue longer if weather conditions are favorable to refill the reservoirs as much as possible for next year.
Travers/Little Bow reservoirs
Beginning September 5, the level of Travers will be drawn down by up to nearly one metre below the current level, possibly reaching an elevation of 852.75 metres, to allow work on the boat launch at the Little Bow Resort after September 25. The drawdown rate will probably be about 0.05 metres per day. The work should only take two days, and the reservoir will then be refilled to a level of at least 854.0 metres for winter by mid-October. If there is enough water in the river the winter level may ultimately be as high as 854.5 metres. Most years the winter level is between 854.1 metres and 854.4 metres.
The level of McGregor will rise beginning September 5 from the current level of 872.48 metres to an undetermined level depending on the water supply. Once the work is completed at Travers water will be released from McGregor to partially refill Travers, and then McGregor will be refilled as close to the normal winter level as possible. Uncertainty regarding the river flow and diversion makes it impossible to predict how high the level will rise in September or the final level for winter, but it may be lower than the normal winter level of 873.56 metres.
Please note that unpredictable changes in river flow and irrigation demand may cause significant changes to these predicted levels for both reservoirs.
Current reservoir levels and river flows can be viewed at the Alberta River Basins website: Alberta River Basins