Determination of factors affecting dissolved oxygen levels in the Souris River to inform operation decisions and assist with water quality objectives review


Water Quality

Project Description

This IWI project investigated how variations in river flow affect dissolved oxygen levels, which are important to determining biological conditions in a river. The project covered a 5-year period from 2019 to 2023. The project work consisted of installing and maintaining continuous water-quality monitoring sensors (3) to measure water temperature and dissolved oxygen at the stream gaging (flow) stations on the Souris River at the SK/ND border near Sherwood, ND, above Minot, ND and at the ND/MB border near Westhope, ND. Due to the insufficiency of data on seasonal and diurnal dissolved oxygen levels, these sensors were needed to provide an understanding of the river water quality under the range of conditions experienced in the Souris River. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) installed and maintained the sensors. 

This project resulted in the collection of data and creation of analysis reports containing needed information on the dynamics of dissolved oxygen in the Souris River; specifically, how flow and under-ice conditions affect oxygen levels. This information has been integrated into control structure (reservoir) operation decisions for improving riverine dissolved oxygen levels. It will also be used to inform suitable ISRB dissolved oxygen objectives as part of the required objective review process.




ECCC, USGS, US Fish and Wildlife Services, Saskatchewan Water Security Agency, North Dakota Department of Health, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Manitoba Sustainable Development