Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

July 2008

Bow River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

As of July 1, 2008, natural runoff volumes forecast for the March to September 2008 period are above to 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 85 to 138% of average in the basin. Most of the current forecasts have increased significantly since the May 1 forecasts, except the Bow River at Banff forecast decreased by 4%. The current forecasted volume for the Bow River at Calgary would rank 51st lowest in 91-years of record (1912-2001).

The first four months of the forecast period have been completed, with March-June 2008 recorded natural runoff volumes ranging from 82 to 158% of average. The Cascade Reservoir and the Elbow and Highwood Rivers have so far recorded the eighth, tenth and sixteenth highest natural runoff volumes respectively in 91 years of record, while other areas recorded above average runoff except at Banff where it was below to much below average. Recorded volume data is preliminary and is subject to change. The remaining volume forecast, for July to September 2008 and available in Table 4b, is above average for the Cascade Reservoir and Elbow and Highwood Rivers, average for the Spray Reservoir and Kananaskis, and below average for the Bow river at Banff and Calgary.

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