Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

April 2008

Bow River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

As of April 1, 2008, natural runoff volumes for the March to September 2008 period are forecast to range from below average to average in the Bow River basin. Natural runoff volumes are expected to be below average at Banff, Calgary and into the Cascade Reservoir, below average to average into the Spray Lakes Reservoir and for the Highwood River, and average for the Kananaskis and Elbow Rivers (Table 4a). Current natural runoff volume forecasts range from 86 to 97% of average in the basin. Most of the current forecasts have decreased by 1% of average since the March 1 forecasts, except the Elbow River forecast did not change, the Spray River forecast dropped by 3% and the Highwood River forecast decreased 5%. The current forecasted volume for the Bow River at Calgary would rank 29th lowest in 91-years of record (1912-2001).

The first month of the forecast period has been completed, with March 2008 recorded natural runoff volumes ranging from 67 to 95 % of average. The Cascade and Spray Reservoirs recorded much below average inflows during March, while Banff, Calgary, and the Highwood River recorded below average runoff, and the Kananaskis and Elbow Rivers recorded near 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 2008 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 4b.

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