Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

August 2004

Bow River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

As of August 1, 2004, March to September 2004 natural runoff volumes are forecast to be much-below-average at Banff, below to much below average at Calgary and in the Highwood and Kananaskis Rivers, below average in the Elbow River and at the Spray Reservoir, and average at the Cascade Reservoir (Table 4a). Current runoff volume forecasts range from 61 to 100% of average. Since July 1, changes in the forecasts range from 4% lower in the Kananaskis River to 7% higher at the Cascade Reservoir. Current March to September 2004 volume forecasts are 4-7% higher than runoff volumes recorded during the same period last year, except for the Highwood River, which is forecast to receive 11% less volume than last year, and Banff, which is forecast to receive 2% less. Current forecasted volumes for the March to September 2004 period for the Bow River at Calgary would rank 22nd lowest in 91 years of record (1912-2001).

The first five months of the forecast period have been completed, with March-July 2004 recorded runoff volumes ranging from 58 to 99% of average. Banff recorded much-below-average runoff so far, Calgary and the Kananaskis and Highwood Rivers recorded below to much below average runoff, the Cascade Reservoir recorded normal runoff, while the Elbow River and Spray Reservoir recorded below average runoff. Recorded volume data is preliminary, and is subject to change. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2004 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 4b. Below-average runoff is forecasted for the August through September 2004 period, except at the Cascade Reservoir where average runoff is forecasted, and the Highwood River, where below average to average runoff is forecasted.

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