Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

June 2003

Red Deer River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Natural runoff volumes for the March 1 to September 30, 2003 period are forecast to be above-average for the Red Deer River basin, ranging from 118 to 124% of average (Table 5a). Much-above-average runoff was recorded during May, due to rapid, early snowmelt of above-average to much-above-average snowpack in the upper basin and a storm early in the month which followed a major storm in late April. As a result, current forecasts are higher than last month's forecasts (by 14 to 15%). The current forecasted volumes for the March to September 2003 period for the Red Deer River basin are approximately double the volumes recorded over the same time period last year and in 2001. Current forecasted volumes would rank 66th highest in 84-years of record (1912-95) at Red Deer.

The first three months of the forecast period has been completed, with March-May 2003 recorded runoff volumes ranging from 164 to 194% of average. Runoff volume at the Dickson Dam was the second-highest on record (since 1912) for the March-May period. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March through September 2003 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 5b.

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