Dickson Dam - Town of Drumheller | Dinosaurvalley.com
Dickson Dam

Town of Drumheller

Town of Drumheller

Dickson Dam

Originating in the Rocky Mountains of western Alberta, the Red Deer River flows eastward through aspen parkland and prairie. Near the Saskatchewan border, the Red Deer joins the South Saskatchewan River to eventually empty into the Hudson Bay. The primary purpose of the dam is to provide an assured, year round water supply to downstream users.

Mountain snowmelt and periodic rainstorms in the late spring and early summer combine to produce high flows from May to August. During the rest of the year there is considerably less water, particularly in the coldest part of the winter. This annual cycle of high and low flows can be extreme – from a record flow of 2300 cubic metres per second to flows as low as 2 cubic metres per second.

When the river was little used by man, natural variations in the flow created few problems. But as communities and industries grew along the river, the year-round demand for water increased. Residents became increasingly concerned about the quality of water, particularly when the flows were low.

A dam was proposed as a way of providing additional water in the river during periods of low natural flow. Technical studies began in 1971 and after a series of public hearings, a decision was made in 1976 to build the Dickson Dam.

(content provided by Alberta Environment)


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