Welcome to the
North Saskatchewan River Basin Council

Source waters in the North Saskatchewan River Watershed consist of wetlands, sloughs, lakes, rivers and groundwater aquifers. These provide for our drinking water and support agriculture, forestry, oil and gas, and other manufacturing industries. Source water is an important resource for ensuring healthy, functioning ecosystem and maintaining cultural assets.

The North Saskatchewan River Basin Council is a non-profit organization that has formed to support and direct the implementation of the Source Water Protection Plan for our watershed. The plan has been build over 4 years of public consultations with the assistance of the Water Security Agency. Because the watershed is so large and source water protection is a long term project we will need community support in order to be successful.

We are actively seeking community involvement. Water affects everyone so it is important that everyone has a chance to be involved with protecting it.

News & Trends

Leafy Spurge Information & Beetle Release

There is a growing concern for the prairie region regarding the threat of invasive species. One species of major concern is leafy spurge. This highly invasive noxious weed is extremely hard to eradicate once established in an area. It chokes out native species of vegetation and most livestock will not graze it. 

There are two control methods that currently seem to work the best for combating a spurge infected area. The first is targeted grazing. Sheep and goats will graze leafy spurge where most other livestock will not. There are incentives through the Farm Stewardship Program that wil help cover the costs, once approved. For more info Click Here. Multiple BMP's are listed under the pre-approval section.

The other control method is through the use of leafy spurge beetles. The beetles will eat only leafy spurge and effectively kill the plants they feed on. This method is a long term management solution as it can take a few years for the beetles to fully establish. Releasing leafy spurge beetles will not completely eradicate leafy spurge from an infested area, however it is a good management strategy to use alongside other control methods.

We just released beetles at Sweetgrass First Nation in some leafy spurge-infected pasture (July 13th). We hope to see an established beetle population with reduced numbers of spurge plants within the next few years.

Love Your Lake

We just finished shoreline surveys for Jackfish and Brightsand Lake (July, 2018).  Each report is entered manually and gives a detailed summary of the overall condition of your shoreline and property. If you know your property was assessed, keep an eye open for a report in the next two months. If you have questions, Contact Us.

Our lakes and water systems in this province are a valuable resource and maintaining the health of these lakes and rivers is essential. The "Love Your Lake" program provides lakefront property owners with a survey to inform landowners how natural or developed the landscape is on their property. A report is prepared for each property and mailed out to each landowner stating how they can maintain or improve the quality of natural vegetation and landscape. The natural vegetation plays a key role in maintaining soil structure, acting as a natural filter and improving water quality overall. Keeping these shorelines healthy and naturalized ensures a lake that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

The Natural Edge

The Natural Edge Program is an option for lakefront property owners who want to follow up on the Love Your Lake survey. Lake health is affected from numerous sources, whether it’s pollution, aquatic invasive species or shoreline development. While developing a shoreline isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there are ways to help maintain the integrity and health of shores. The shoreline is a buffer zone of vegetation acting as a natural filter and reinforcement to prevent things like erosion, nutrient loading or eutrophication. It also provides habitat for native species part of the local ecosystem, promoting diversity. 

The Natural Edge Program seeks to maintain, improve and restore shoreline along lakefront properties. Those involved will get to work alongside technicians in developing their shoreline, from the initial site visit to the planting operation and maintenance itself. The Natural Edge Program promotes the health and diversity of our lakes and helps ensure a safe, healthy and valuable resource to be enjoyed for generations to come. Contact us to book your site. 

For more details on the program visit: http://loveyourlake.ca/natural-shoreline/

Adult Invasive Mussel Monitoring (AIMM) 2018

For anyone doing this year’s survey for their lake, please read the new guide for 2018 and the following steps for entering their data.

  • ·Open the URL listed below and click on the Adult Invasive Mussel Monitoring (AIMM) tab.
  • ·Click on Adult Invasive Mussel Monitoring (AIMM) User Guide  and read through the updated guide for this year.
  • ·Open the link on page 2 of the guide to access either the downloadable app or browser datasheet for data entry and submission.

The user guide and link for those participating in this year’s Adult Invasive Mussel Monitoring (AIMM 2018) program using Survey123 to report this year's surveys can be accessed from the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Center website under the AIMM tab.  


Please download the SURVEY123 field app to mobile devices from the Google Play or Apple Store first before using the link to download the AIMM 2018 survey.

Water Security Agency Gives Communities Approval To Use Water From The North Saskatchewan River

Sept. 16, 2016 – The Water Security Agency (WSA) is advising the communities of North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort as well as SaskWater that they may start diverting and treating water from the North Saskatchewan River and Codette Reservoir.
The water intakes for these communities were shut down in July after a Husky Energy pipeline near Maidstone leaked oil into the river.  The decision by WSA to allow the communities to turn on the water intakes and start to treat water from the river and reservoir comes after approximately 88 per cent of the oil has been recovered in addition to conducting significant technical study, monitoring and review.  
WSA requested an overall water safety assessment from the technical group working as part of the oil spill response to address human health threats, the fate of the oil, treatment requirements and long-term monitoring.  
The water safety assessment was reviewed by an internal Government of Saskatchewan science committee, external academic experts from the Universities of Saskatchewan and Alberta, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, and engineering consultants for the municipalities.
The assessment indicated that oil components detected in the North Saskatchewan River do not present unacceptable health risks to residents whose treated water supply will be sourced from the river once intake use restarts. The results of the reports and testing done by the technical working group are consistent with what WSA found through an independent water sampling program.
WSA is also advising the municipalities to take the following actions:

  • Adjust their water treatment process to account for the current water quality of the sources, ensuring all standard regulations on quality are met;
  • Collect samples of treated water and test for petroleum components shortly after restarting use of the intakes before it goes to the distribution system;
  • Advise their consumers of a potential change in water quality as systems are brought back online.

However, the municipalities of North Battleford and Prince Albert with funding from Husky Energy will be investing in further temporary pre-treatment and treatment options. The Water Security Agency supports the municipalities in taking further treatment options and taking a cautious approach to restarting their intakes.    
The advisories in relation to livestock watering, pets and recreational use like water skiing and other activities are also now lifted. Evaluations and assessments of impacts to aquatic life and other uses (fish and wildlife) are ongoing and separate from this assessment.
View the North Saskatchewan River Source Risk Assessment Here

250,000 Litres of Oil Pollute the North Saskatchewan River.  Eyes wide open as to our dependancy and vulnerablility on the quality of our Source Waters.

Forest Grazing Field Day, Monday, July 11, 2016

Click on the link to find out the details of the event near Debden, SK. Registration deadline is July 7, 2016.

Livestock Water Management Field Day, Thursday, June 23, 2016

If you click on the link, you'll find what the event is all about and who to contact for more information and to register. Registration deadline is June 17, 2016.


NSRBC Spring 2016 Newsletter!

New information on our current projects including culvert mapping, 16 to 43 waste management, and more! Published on June 3, 2016. Subscribe to our newsletter!


NSR AEGP Newsletter Spring 2016 under AEGP

Check out the newsletter posted on June 2, 2016. News on Perennial Forages, Invasive Pasture Weeds and more!


AEGP: New BMPs listed in the Farm Stewardship Program

Updated BMP information on the brochure.


Check out Interviews with this year's Summer Students!

Published May 30st, 2016. These new summer students are ready to work!


Invitation to our Annual General Meeting, March 22, 2016

The North Saskatchewan River Basin Council (NSRBC) Annual General Meeting will be held March 22, 2016 at the Battlefords River Valley Visitor Centre in North Battleford, SK starting at 11:30am. RVSP by March 15th to info@nsrbc.ca, 306-549-2360.


Canadian Heritage River 

We are excited to announce that we have received funding through Parks Canada’s Canadian Heritage Rivers Board Secretariat to conduct a study and eventually nominate the North Saskatchewan River for Heritage River status.


About Culvert Mapping, AEGP updates, Aquatic Invasives and Source Water Protection in two First Nation communities - Check out the 2015 NSRBC Newsletter

Published: August 20, 2015

Subscribe to our newsletter and don't miss any updates! 


June 24, 2015: North Battleford wins National Municipal Environmental Award for implementing a Biosolids Management System at the wastewater treatment plant

The new system includes a storage tank and a reactor that is designed to convert the biosolids into commercial fertilizer. Those are now in place inside the wastewater facility in the location where trucks used to come in to remove the biosolids waste. A covered lagoon was also built outside for storage.
North Battleford was the first city in western Canada to use the Lystek system, which had been used before in Ontario.

“We are no longer throwing away a valuable raw material that can be used as fertilizer,“ said City Director of Operations Stewart Schafer, “but secondly we’re not filling up our landfill with raw biosolids, which will increase the useful life of the landfill.”

Source: News Optimist, June 24, 2015. Read the full article.

North Battleford winning a National Municipal Environmental Award in 2015 for implementing the system - See more at: http://www.newsoptimist.ca/news/local-news/lystek-open-house-celebrates-north-battleford-s-award-winning-project-1.1975864#sthash.dOb6duJO.dpuf

Congratulations to our Watershed Poster Contest Winners!

1st Prize to Lexi WasmuthPoster winner first
2nd Prize to Kayla Willumeit
poster winner second
3rd Prize to Hayden Ouellete
poster winner third


August 2014:  Mistawasis Water Management

It seems in Saskatchewan, that we either have too much water, or never enough.  Extremes at either end of the spectrum can be debilitating for many.  Mistiwasis First Nation is one of the many communities faced with the challenge of water management issues.  Flooding has affected homes, roads, and impacted their recreational lakes.meeting
On August 8, 2014, Mistiwasis hosted a round table discussion to address drainage options and their impacts.  Chief Daryl Watson expressed the need to manage high water levels but recognized the potential impacts downstream to their neighbours the RM of Canwood.  Chief Watson was sensitive to the issue that any decision made needs to be done in a holistic manner.  Representatives from Transport Canada, Water Security Agency, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, North Saskatchewan River Basin Council, the RM of Canwood, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, the Saskatoon Tribal Council, and Fisheries Oceans Canada were all present.Lake

July 2014: Rangeland Workshop

On July 14th we held a range day out near Makwa. This range day was to help provide us with the knowledge of identifying invasive species and evaluating the health of pastures and riparian areas. We also learned how to do soil texturing by hand and be able to tell what kind of a soil it is by how it feels. We also learned how to identify grasses before they go to seed by looking at the auricles and the ligules of the grass itself. It was a lot of fun. We also learned how to use the SARM info sheets to help give us a insight into what type of soil is present in the location.Range Daysoil sampling range day auricle demonstration

July 2014: Beetle Release

On July 7th we released beetles that we had purchased from the Ministry of Agriculture around the Battlefords area. These beetles were brought in order to try and reduce the spread of leafy spurge a invasive plant. These beetles were put at the edges of the leafy spurge infestations so that they would work their way in and impede the spreading of the spurge. They will lay their eggs and their larvae will eat the roots of the leafy spurge effectively killing it. If these beetles get established they will provide an effective and environmentally friendly way of controlling the spurge.Beetles Beetle Releasing

May 2014: Water Quality Testing at Little Red River

This event went over amazingly and helped us show kids how important water quality is in maintaining our environment.  We greatly appreciate the support of the Saskatchewan Outdoor and Environmental Education Association along with SaskLotteries to make this possible.  With their support, we were able to give two presentations on ground and surface water to students in Grades 10 and 11, from Prince Albert Collegiate Institute.  Along with this, we were able to return and show students how water quality testing is performed along the Little Red River.  While helping the students learn how to use the water quality testing kits we also talked about the importance of riparian zones and why they must be kept healthy. 

 May 2014: Welcoming the Summer Student

We have filled the summer student position and would like to welcome Trevor to the NSRBC. We look forward to working with this individual and helping him pursue his interests as he gives valuable effort and time into the NSRBC and contributes on many of our projects to come. He will be working mainly out of the Redberry Biosphere Centre with a couple of other summer students.  One of the projects that we will be doing is mapping culverts in RM’s and taking those GPS points, along with pictures, and importing them into ArcGIS to form an informational map.  He will also be updating our social media and website to keep people up to date on our events.

April 2014: Annual General Meeting

The North Saskatchewan River Basin Council (NSRBC) Annual General Meeting was held on April 28, 2014. We thank everyone for coming and supporting our organization. A special thanks goes to our guest speakers Ken Lozinsky, Janette  Hamilton and John Vandall who talked about the Canadian Heritage Rivers System and to Peter Kingsmill, Chair of the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve, who gave an update on the possible threat to Saskatchewan waters by quagga and zebra mussels.

Download the Staff Report on achievements in 2013

 January 2014: Enter our annual Poster Contest and win!

This year Grades 5-7 students are encouraged to draw a poster about "Groundwater - Below the Surface". For details please see the information under "Events" (right hand side). The NSRBC will be providing prizes for the top 3 local winners within the watershed. The 1st place winner’s poster within the watershed will then be judged at the provincial level against the top posters from the other 9 watersheds for the chance to win the provincial grand prize – an Outdoor Sports Package valued at $1,000!

Contact us for more information or to request an in-class presentation: info@nsrbc.ca, 306-441-3119