Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

June 2002

Red Deer River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Natural runoff volumes (for the March to September 2002 period) are forecast to be average for the Red Deer River basin, ranging from 88 to 93 % of average (Table 5a). The June 1 forecasts are 7 % higher than last month's forecasts due to above-normal precipitation during May in the basin. Current forecasted values for the March to September period for the Red Deer River at Red Deer would rank 41st lowest in 84-years of record (1912-95). The June 1 forecasts are 31 to 36 % higher than recorded values observed over the same time period last year.

The first three months of the forecast period have been completed, with the March-May 2002 recorded runoff volumes being much-below-average, ranging from 63 to 66 % of average. The late spring, combined with the very dry antecedent conditions has resulted in the much-below-average volumes seen to date. The late spring has also resulted in little depletion of the higher elevation snowpack and as a result, the remaining volume forecast (June to September period) is forecast to be above-average. The forecast for the remainder of the period (June to September) increased by 13 to 14 % from the May to September forecast period. 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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