Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

August 2008

Bow River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

As of August 1, 2008, natural runoff volumes forecast for the March to September 2008 period are much above average into the Cascade Reservoir and for the Highwood and Elbow Rivers, below to much below average for the Bow River at Banff, and slightly above average for the Spray Lakes Reservoir and for the Kananaskis River and the Bow River at Calgary (Table 4a). Current natural runoff volume forecasts range from 86 to 139% of average in the basin. The current forecasted volume for the Bow River at Calgary would rank 60th lowest in 91-years of record (1912-2001).

The first five months of the forecast period have been completed, with March-July 2008 recorded natural runoff volumes ranging from 84 to 147% of average. The Cascade Reservoir and the Elbow and Highwood Rivers have so far recorded the thirteenth, eleventh and eighteenth highest natural runoff volumes respectively in 91 years of record. Other areas have recorded above average runoff except at Banff where it was below to much below average, sixteenth lowest on record. Recorded volume data is preliminary and is subject to change. The remaining volume forecast, for August to September 2008 and available in Table 4b, is above average for the Spray and Cascade Reservoirs and the Elbow River, average for the Highwood and Kananaskis Rivers and the Bow River at Calgary, and below average for the Bow River at Banff.

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