Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

April 2003

Milk River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Below-average natural runoff volumes are forecast for the March to September 2003 period in the Milk River basin (Table 2a). Current forecasts in the basin range from 76 to 88% of the median, an increase from March's forecasts of 32 to 44% due to much-above-normal snowfall in the basin headwaters last month and rapid runoff from the plains areas. Forecast volumes are about three times higher than those recorded in 2001 and less than half those recorded last year. For the Milk River at Milk River, current forecasted values for the March to September 2003 period would rank 29th lowest in 84 years of record (1912-95).

The first month of the forecast period has been completed, with March 2003 recorded runoff volumes ranging from 196 to 403% of average. The quickness of the plains snowmelt resulted in much-above-average runoff. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2003 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 2b.

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