Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

July 2002

Red Deer River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Natural runoff volumes (for the March to September 2002 period) are forecast to be below-average for the Red Deer River basin, ranging from 72 to 81 % of average (Table 5a). The July 1 forecasts dropped 12 to 16 % from last month's forecast due to much-below-normal precipitation during May and June in the basin. Despite above-average mountain snowpack this spring, the lack of precipitation in May and June has resulted in a substantial decrease in forecast volume. Most streams (except the mainstem of the Red Deer River above Dickson Dam) are below-average for this time of the year, which is as a result of the below-normal precipitation to date and the very dry antecedant conditions. Current forecasted values for the March to September period for the Red Deer River at Red Deer would rank 26th lowest in 84-years of record (1912-95). The July 1 forecasts are 20 % higher than recorded values observed over the same time period last year.

The first four months of the forecast period have been completed, with the March-June 2002 recorded runoff volumes being much-below-average to below-average, ranging from 69 to 76 % of average. The forecast for the remainder of the period (July to September) decreased 17 to 21 % from the June to September forecast period due to the much-below-normal precipitation in June. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2002 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 5b.

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