Regional Water Quantity in Canadian Rivers

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In 2013, water quantity conditions in most drainage regions across Canada were normal. Lower-than-normal water quantity was observed in the Keewatin–Southern Baffin (16) drainage region. Higher-than-normal flows were observed in the Yukon (5), North Saskatchewan (10), South Saskatchewan (11), Assiniboine–Red (12), Lower Saskatchewan–Nelson (14), and Northern Quebec (18) drainage regions. Alberta's super-flood in June 2013 and a wetter-than-normal fall contributed to the higher  water quantity on the Prairies.

Water quantity status of drainage regions, Canada, 2013

Map of Canada

Long description

The map shows the water quantity classification (low, normal or high) for each of Canada's drainage regions.

Data for this map
Water quantity status of drainage regions, Canada, 2013
Drainage region nameDrainage region numberWater quantity classification
Pacific Coastal1Normal
Fraser–Lower Mainland2Normal
Lower Mackenzie7Normal
North Saskatchewan10High
South Saskatchewan11High
Lower Saskatchewan–Nelson14High
Keewatin–Southern Baffin16Low
Northern Ontario17Normal
Northern Quebec18High
Great Lakes19Normal
St. Lawrence21Normal
North Shore–Gaspé22Normal
Saint John–St. Croix23Normal
Maritime Coastal24Normal

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: The 2013 water quantity classification for a drainage region is based on the category (low, normal, high) for the most downstream monitoring station in the drainage region with greater than 30 years of data (long-term station). The flows are for the Canadian portions of the drainage regions. There were not enough data to describe the Arctic Coast–Islands (8) drainage region. The normal period for the Northern Quebec (18) drainage region was 1971–2000, instead of 1981–2010, because of a data gap in that drainage region. The results for this indicator vary slightly from those in the Local Water Quantity in Canadian Rivers indicator because of differences in the methods used to calculate the indicator. For more information, please see the Data Sources and Methods document.
Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada (2015) Water Survey of Canada, HYDAT Database.

A drainage region is an area of land that drains all the water to a common outlet, such as the mouth of a bay, the outflow of a reservoir, or a larger river. The drainage region contains lakes, streams, reservoirs, wetlands, and all the underlying groundwater.

Canada's land mass can be divided into 11 major drainage areas and 25 drainage regions. The drainage regions are large and generally named for the major river or lake systems in Canada. Changes in temperature, rainfall and snowfall each year affect the water quantity in a river for that year.

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