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Sask. drawing down Theodore dam for repair

A reservoir used by ranchers in east-central Saskatchewan for stock watering will be drawn down this summer for repairs to its dam.

The 45-year-old Theodore Dam, on the Whitesand River near Theodore, about 40 km northwest of Yorkton, “requires immediate repairs to ensure that it remains structurally sound,” Nancy Heppner, minister for the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, said in a release.

“We regret any inconvenience this will cause to the many recreational users that frequent the reservoir,” she said, “but lowering the water levels is necessary in order to complete the repairs before winter freeze-up.”

Without the repairs, Heppner said, “there is a risk the dam could fail in the event of an extreme flood.”

The watershed authority was to begin releasing water from the dam on July 15 and drawing down water levels by about an inch per day afterward. The levels will be drawn down by about 1.5 metres on or around Sept. 1, the province said.

Repair work is expected to be complete by mid-October and water levels are expected to return to normal levels by next spring, the province said.

The reservoir also provides water for domestic use and an “active sport fishery” and is home to Whitesand Regional Park, a popular recreation spot.

Lower water levels are expected to start interfering with normal operations of the boat launch at Whitesand Park as early as Aug. 1.

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