Despite being in a region that's been soaked for multiple weeks from the spring snowmelt and several consecutive weather systems dropping significant amounts of precipitation, hopes of Winkler's aquifer experiencing a healthy recharge didn't happen.
Although it didn't go up as much as they hoped, Winkler's Director of Planning and Engineering Scott Toews said from the week of April 27th to the week of May 4th, the level of the aquifer did increase .4 metres or just over 1 foot. "Hopefully with the Dead Horse Creek continuing to flow over the next couple of weeks here, we'll start to see some really good progress over the spring."
Toews said because of the type of winter we had and the amount of frost that was in the ground, that kept the water from penetrating into the ground and recharging the aquifer.
Winkler Mayor Martin Harder noted work is being done to see how they hold water back and allow it to run over the aquifer once the frost is all out of the ground.
"The more we can hold back, the better we are...Unfortunately, it comes and it goes," added Harder, talking about the surface water that we often see creating problems for people elsewhere.
"Downstream, as we well know the Red River levels are significantly high this time of year, and we contribute towards it. So the more we can hold back, the better off we are."
Harder said that highlights a big reason the city joined the Pembina Valley Watershed District in 2021, and began working with them unofficially even before that. He noted the city is currently working with the PV Watershed District on a number of projects with the goal of creating areas that would hold water back or allow it to sit around long enough to penetrate into the aquifer.