Municipal Affairs and Environment

Humber Water Level Information

Due to the volume and frequent updating of the water level and other data made available on this web site this data is considered to be PROVISIONAL because it has not undergone quality control checks. These data may be subject to significant change.

Since the early 1900’s, communities, including Deer Lake and Steady Brook, have developed along the Humber River. Every year some flooding occurs along the Humber River, while usually minor, the potential for significant flooding exists, as occurred in 1969 and 1981.

The Division monitors a series of hydrometric, climate and snow monitoring stations in the Humber River Basin and uses the information collected for flood forecasting which is described in further detail below.

Background

The Humber River is located on the western side of the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador. It has a reach of 153 km, originating in Gros Morne National Park and draining into the Bay of Islands.

Measured at the Humber Village hydrometric station, the drainage area of the river is 7,860 km2, it is the second largest basin on the island. There are two main braches of the Humber River; Upper Humber has a drainage area of 2,110 km2 and Grand Lake, which is regulated to produce hydroelectricity at Deer Lake, has a drainage area over 5,000 km2.

Humber Map
               (Click on map to see a larger image)

Flood Risk Mapping

Flood risk mapping studies for the communities of Deer Lake and Steady Brook were carried out under the Canada-Newfoundland Flood Damage Reduction Program. These studies analyzed causes of previous floods, defined flood events a return period of 20 years (5% chance in any year) and 100 years (1% chance in any year), considered remedial measures, and produced flood risk mapping. The Deer Lake and Steady Brook studies, listed below, are available online in electronic format.

  • Hydrotechnical Study of the Deer Lake Area (1987)
  • Hydrotechnical Study of the Steady Brook Area (1984)
  • Study of Possible Remedial Measures for the Steady Brook Area (1986)

Based on the studies, the flood risk maps show flood risk zones for floods with a return period of 20 years and 100 years. The maps are used for public information, municipal planning, development control, and the setting of structural design criteria. All proposed developments in flood risk zones are evaluated against potential impacts on water resources, on the developments themselves, and on the surrounding areas. The public information maps for Deer Lake and Steady Brook are available in electronic format through the links below.

Public Information Map for Deer Lake Area
Small Large PDF

Public Information Map for Steady Brook Area
Small Large PDF

River Monitoring and Flood Forecasting

Generally, flooding along the Humber River is a result of the combined effects of precipitation and snowmelt, occurring during the spring-runoff period. The Water Resources Management Division (WRMD) operates a flood forecasting service during the period. When a flood forecast is greater than the defined flood event, there is a potential for flooding. When the potential for flooding exists, the WRMD informs Fire Emergency Services-Newfoundland and Labrador and the communities of Deer Lake and Steady Brook for appropriate action. Currently, the WRMD operates two flood forecasting models, a dynamic regression (DR) model and a neural network (NN) model.

For the last number of years, the Humber River flood forecasting model operated by the WRMD was the DR model. The DR model, which was developed in-house, uses a number of observed hydrometric and weather parameters to stochastically forecast river flows for up to three days. In 2009, the NN model was developed for the WRMD. The model does not require any forecast weather parameters and accounts for snowmelt through the degree-day parameter. The NN model is capable of forecasting one-day flow.

Both the DR and the NN models have divided the Humber River into three reaches coincident with the hydrometric stations: the Upper Humber Above Black Brook, Upper Humber Near Reidville, and Humber River At Humber Village Bridge. Documentation outlining the DR and NN flood forecasting models is available, in electronic format, through the links below.

Snow reports are developed by the WRMD to quantify the extent of snow cover and the amount of water, stored as snow, in the Humber River basin. Leading up to, and during, the spring-runoff period, these reports are updated regularly in order to quantify potential runoff due to snowmelt, as it will contribute to the potential for flooding.

As part of the data collection network, that is critical for the operation of the flood forecasting service, the WRMD maintains a webcam and a climate station at Humber Village Bridge and monitors hydrometric stations along the Humber River. Data from these stations, plus other stations, in the basin are shown below.

Due to the volume and frequent updating of the water level and other data made available on this web site this data is considered to be PROVISIONAL because it has not undergone quality control checks. These data may be subject to significant change.

 

Humber River Stations
Station Name Location ADRS EC
Upper Humber River above Black Brook 74 km - Upstream of Humber Village Bridge 02YL008 EC
Upper Humber River Above Black Brook - Weather Station This is a snow monitoring and climate station that is used to measure runoff from the Upper Humber Basin NLENCL0007  
Adies Lake 20 km – Away from Upper Humber River near Reidville ADIES  
Upper Humber River near Reidville 45 km – Upstream of Humber Village Bridge 02YL001 EC
Sandy Lake near Birchy Narrows (Camp 55) Web Camera This is a snow monitoring and climate station that is used to measure runoff to Sandy Lake which flows into Grand Lake. NLENCL0005  
Grand Lake east of Grand Lake Brook Grand Lake is regulated by a Dam which flows into the Humber River at Deer Lake 02YK010 EC
Deer Lake near Generating Station 33 km – Upstream of Humber Village Bridge 02YL007 EC
Humber River at Humber Village Bridge 0 km - Humber Village Bridge 02YL003 EC
Humber River at Humber Village Bridge Weather Station Web Camera 0 km - Humber Village Bridge NLENCL0003  
Steady Brook 470 meters above Confluence to Humber River Web Camera 6.5 km - Downstream of Humber Village Bridge 02YL012 EC

 

Definitions Description
Web Camera A Webcam is installed at this site.
ADRS This link displays the web page for this station which includes graphs of all data and downloadable csv files.
Due to the volume and frequent updating of the data the streamflow, water quality and climate data shown is PROVISIONAL and has not undergone quality control checks. These data may be subject to significant change.
EC This link is to the Environment Canada, Water Survey of Canada web page for this station. Provisional Stage-Flow data and Stage-Flow data that has gone through a comprehensive QA/QC procedure are available. There are also links to historical publication quality Stage-Flow data and summaries for each station.

 

Adobe Acrobat® Reader software can be used for viewing PDF documents. Download Acrobat® Reader for free. opens new window

 
Last Updated:
This page and all contents are copyright, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, all rights reserved.