Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

April 2003

Mountain Water Supply Forecast Summary

As of April 1, 2003, forecasted runoff volumes for the March to September 2003 period are below-average for the Milk and Oldman River basins, below-average to much-below-average for the Bow River basin, and much-below-average for the Red Deer and North Saskatchewan River basins, ranging from 60 to 80% of average (Table 1). Generally below-average to much-below-average snowpack exists in the mountains. Forecasted March to September 2003 volumes are higher than those recorded in 2001, but lower than those recorded during the same period last year except in the Red Deer River basin where forecast volumes are similar to 2002 recorded volumes.

The April 1 forecast for the Milk River at Milk River improved 36% from the forecast produced in March due to much-above-normal snowfall in the headwaters this past month and very rapid snowmelt in the plains. Other April 1 forecasts were up to about 10% higher than March 1 forecasts due mainly to generally much-above-normal precipitation last month in the mountains.

These forecasts assume that precipitation over the summer period will be normal. Precipitation will have a major impact on the summer water supply forecast between now and the end of September. Streamflow volume forecasts will be updated monthly until mid-summer. Check our Forecaster's Comments throughout the month for updated information regarding runoff conditions.

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