Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

April 2005

Bow River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

As of April 1, 2005, natural runoff volumes for the March to September 2005 period are forecast to be below average to average in the Bow River basin, but closer to average at Banff (Table 4). Current natural runoff volume forecasts range from 81 to 97% of average, 0 to 4% lower than last month's due to generally below average precipitation during March. Current March to September 2005 volume forecasts are 4 to 9% higher than runoff volumes recorded during the same period last year for Banff, Calgary, and the Highwood River, and 10 to 15% lower for the Cascade and Spray Reservoirs and the Elbow River. The Kananaskis River is forecast to record similar volume to last year. Current forecasted volumes for the March to September 2005 period for the Bow River at Calgary would rank 41st lowest in 91-years of record (1912-2001).

The first month of the forecast period has been completed, with March 2005 recorded natural runoff volumes ranging from 74 to 117 % of average. Banff, Calgary and the Kananaskis, Highwood and Elbow Rivers recorded above to much above average runoff during March, while the Spray and Cascade Reservoirs recorded below to much below average runoff. Recorded volume data is preliminary, due to ice effects, and is subject to change. March volumes typically comprise a small portion of the March to September total. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2005 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 4b.

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