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Gardiner Dam Turning 50 Years Old

Released on June 16, 2017

Public Invited to the Best Dam Celebration of the Summer

This July, the iconic Gardiner Dam, Saskatchewan’s largest piece of infrastructure, turns 50 years old.

Constructed between 1958 and 1967, Gardiner Dam remains one of the largest earthfill dams in the world.  The 64-metre tall, 5,000-metre long dam along with the Qu’Appelle River Dam was officially opened in July of 1967, as part of Canada's Centennial celebrations.  Both dams created what we know as Lake Diefenbaker, a 225 kilometre long reservoir.  In today’s dollars, the dam would cost more than $1 billon to build.

More than 60 per cent of the province’s population depends on the South Saskatchewan River and Lake Diefenbaker for their water supply.  Gardiner Dam is a multi-use structure that supports renewable energy that helps reduce SaskPower’s greenhouse gas emissions, irrigation, recreation, municipal and industrial use, as well as flood control.

“Gardiner Dam is the most critical piece of infrastructure in this province and we’re very fortunate to be the generation benefitting from the vision of those leaders who saw what Saskatchewan could be,” Minister Responsible for the Water Security Agency Scott Moe said.  “Our population and businesses are able to grow because we can support them with water which is all made possible by Lake Diefenbaker and Gardiner Dam.”

The dam also feeds the Coteau Creek Hydroelectric Station.  Launched in 1969, SaskPower’s Coteau Creek provides up to 186 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power more than 100,000 homes every year.  The station, and hydro power in general, are contributing to SaskPower’s goal to reach 50 per cent renewable power generation by 2030.

On July 14, 2017 from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the Government of Saskatchewan and SaskPower will be holding the best dam party of the summer at the Gardiner Dam Visitor Centre in Danielson Provincial Park west of Davidson.  The public is invited to enjoy an afternoon of fun and celebration at the park.

The Water Security Agency owns and operates Gardiner Dam and is a unique organization in Canada - bringing together all of government's core water management responsibilities in one place.  We manage the province's water supply, protect water quality, ensure safe drinking water and treatment of wastewater, own and manage 69 dams and related water supply channels, reduce flood and drought damage, protect aquatic habitat, and provide information about water.

The Water Security Agency also represents Saskatchewan on transboundary water issues.

For more information on water flows and spring runoff visit


For more information, contact:

Patrick Boyle
Water Security Agency
Moose Jaw 
Phone: 306-694-8914
Cell: 306-631-6997

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