Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

April 2002

Red Deer River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Natural runoff volumes (for the March to September 2002 period) are forecast to be below-average for the Red Deer River basin, ranging from 73 to 83 % of average (Table 5a). Current snowpack at the higher elevations is above-average with considerably less accumulations at lower elevations. The plains area between Dickson Dam and Red Deer has below-average to average snowpack as of April 1. As a result of the below-average snowpack and dry soil moisture conditions, the Red Deer at Red Deer forecast is lower percentage-wise compared to the upstream location (Dickson Dam). The April 1 forecasts are 1 to 3% higher than last month's forecast due above-normal precipitation during March in the basin, particularly in the area between Dickson Dam and Red Deer.

Current forecasted values for the March to September period for the Red Deer River at Red Deer would rank 27th lowest in 84-years of record (1912-95). The April 1 forecasts are 21% higher than recorded values observed over the same time period last year.

The first month of the forecast period has been completed, with March 2002 recorded runoff volumes being the much-below-average, ranging from 37 to 38 % of average. Preliminary data indicates that the recorded March volume at Dickson Dam is by far the lowest volume ever recorded. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2002 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 5b.

For technical enquires about this web page please contact Alberta Environment - Environmental Management Water Management Operations Branch at AENV-WebWS@gov.ab.ca