Regional water quantity in 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 name Drainage region number Water quantity classification
Pacific Coastal 1 Normal
Fraser-Lower Mainland 2 Normal
Okanagan-Similkameen 3 Normal
Columbia 4 Normal
Yukon 5 High
Peace-Athabasca 6 Normal
Lower Mackenzie 7 Normal
Missouri 9 Normal
North Saskatchewan 10 High
South Saskatchewan 11 High
Assiniboine-Red 12 High
Winnipeg 13 Normal
Lower Saskatchewan-Nelson 14 High
Churchill 15 Normal
Keewatin-Southern Baffin 16 Low
Northern Ontario 17 Normal
Northern Quebec 18 High
Great Lakes 19 Normal
Ottawa 20 Normal
St. Lawrence 21 Normal
North Shore-Gaspé 22 Normal
Saint John-St. Croix 23 Normal
Maritime Coastal 24 Normal
Newfoundland-Labrador 25 Normal

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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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