Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

February 2002

Bow River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Below-average natural runoff volumes are forecast for the March to September 2002 period in the Bow River basin except in the Highwood River basin, where much-below-average runoff volumes are forecast (Table 4). As of February 1, the Bow River basin stands to improve the most in term of water supply compared to last year. Current snowpack at the higher elevations has surpassed the entire seasonal total of last year, with one-third of this year's snow accumulation season remaining. This improvement is evident in forecasts for the higher elevation sub-basins. Upstream of Calgary, the four forecast points indicate forecasted volumes 18 to 35% higher than the recorded value last year. Basins with considerably less drainage area above 6000 feet (such as the Elbow and Highwood River) improved but not to the extent that of the higher elevation sub-basins.

Current forecasted values for the March to September period for the Bow River at Calgary would rank 26th lowest in 84-years of record (1912-95).

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