Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

August 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 65 to 75% of the median. Forecasted volumes have decreased since the July 1 forecasts, by 4 to 5% at the western U.S. border crossing and at the town of Milk River due to much-below-average runoff and precipitation in July in the western half of the river basin. The forecast for the Milk River at the eastern U.S. border crossing did not change significantly as runoff from the eastern side of the basin was higher than from the western side. Forecast volumes for March to September of this year are approximately three times higher than those recorded in 2001 and nearly a third of those recorded last year. For the Milk River at Milk River, current forecasted values for the March to September 2003 period would rank 23rd lowest in 84 years of record (1912-95).

The first five months of the forecast period have been completed, with March-July 2003 recorded runoff volumes ranging from 66 to 80% of average. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2003 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 2b.

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