The Oldman River (362 km, mean annual flow rate 95 m3/s), rises near Mount Lyall in the Rockies of southwestern Alberta and flows south then east to join the BOW RIVER and form the South SASKATCHEWAN RIVER in Alberta. The Oldman River's name may come from the Cree term for "old man's playground.
The Oldman River Dam (1991) upstream of Pincher Creek supplies irrigation and municipal water supplies to Lethbridge and adjacent areas of southern Alberta. The dam has aroused considerable controversy, with opponents claiming serious adverse effects on river habitat, archaeological sites and trout fishing. Proponents view the expansion of irrigation development and increased surety of water supplies as benefits that outweigh environmental concerns.