A trip out to the diversion just south of Portage la Prairie revealed a surprising but not so surprising sight.

The diversion is still being used.  The volume of water heading north to Lake Manitoba doesn’t appear that high but considering most of the flood threat is over it may considered a bit of an oddity.

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Here are some stats from the Government of Manitoba website on the Portage Diversion.


  • This 29 km (18 mile) channel diverts water from the Assiniboine River, just west of Portage la Prairie, into Lake Manitoba near Delta Beach.
  • The removal of up to 25,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of flood water provides flood protection for Winnipeg and areas along the Assiniboine River and also supports flood protection along the Red River north of Winnipeg.
  • The Portage Diversion was built from 1965 to 1970 and cost $20.5 million.
  • During the flood of 2011, its capacity was increased for the short term to 34,000 cfs. Since 2011, about $6 million in repairs have been completed on various sections of the diversion.
  • The Shellmouth Dam, Portage Diversion and the Red River Floodway have prevented an estimated $7 billion in damages from flood waters.
  • The Portage Diversion is operated by raising gates in the Assiniboine River, when required, to divert a portion of the river through the diversion channel. There are also gates that control flow into the diversion channel.

Since its construction, the Portage Diversion has been operated 29 out of 43 years.


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