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Souris River

(49°00’N, 101°59’W: Map sheet 62/F4). With headwaters at Cedoux, Saskatchewan, the Souris River flows past Estevan, south into North Dakota before turning north to join the Assiniboine River near Brandon, Manitoba. Water from the Souris ultimately drains to the Arctic Ocean, via the Nelson River. In the 1890s it was used to barge coal from Roche Percée to Winnnipeg. While the upper reaches of the Souris register no flow in some drought years, in other years flooding has been a problem. In the 1990s the Rafferty and Alameda Dam Project was undertaken in part to protect Minot, North Dakota, from flooding. Under an agreement with the United States, Saskatchewan can retain about 50% of the water flowing in the Souris Basin.

An older dam, Boundary Dam (1957), was built on Long Creek, a tributary of the Souris, to provide cooling water for Boundary Dam Generating Station. A channel links Boundary Dam and Rafferty Dam, allowing water to flow between the two reservoirs. The reservoirs provide water for the newer Shand Power Station. Fishing and boating are enjoyed in the reservoirs, and hunting and trapping have been traditional activities in the river valley. Water from the Souris is also used for irrigation. The name of the river comes from the French word for “mouse.” In the United States it is often called the Mouse River.

Gregory Salmers

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