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Information regarding the reservoirs that support the Bow River Irrigation District is found on this page.

McGregor, Travers, and Little Bow Reservoirs

These reservoirs are owned by the Government of Alberta. Their primary purpose is supplying water for the Bow River Irrigation District.


Operations Outlook - April 15, 2024

All reservoir levels are currently below normal due to low river flow and high irrigation demand in 2023. Total storage at the end of 2023 was about 88% of normal winter storage, and with some local runoff this spring, total storage on April 15, 2024 was about 90% of normal winter storage. Diversion from the Bow River to refill reservoirs began again on April 12, 2024, and flow will be gradually increased depending on river levels. Travers and Little Bow Reservoirs’ current levels are 854.17 metres, which is 2 metres below full, but normal for winter. McGregor is currently at 872.9 metres, about 0.6 metres below normal winter level, and 1.2 metres below full. McGregor will be refilled initially, followed by Travers and Little Bow. McGregor should be at 873.5 metres before May 1, and once it is there, Travers will be refilled to 855.0 metres before the level of McGregor goes significantly higher. Both reservoirs will then be filled in tandem with available water. Our goal is always to have all reservoirs full by July 1, but our ability to fill them depends on river flow and irrigation demand.


Operations Outlook - September 6, 2023

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.

McGregor Reservoir

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