Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

June 2004

Milk River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Much-below-average natural runoff volumes are forecast for the March to September 2004 period in the Milk River basin (Table 2a). June 1 forecasts in the basin range from 39 to 42% of the median, an increase of 1 to 4% of median since last month's forecasts. Current forecasts are two-thirds the volumes recorded during the March through September 2003 period but one-and-a-half to two times higher than the volumes recorded in 2001. For the Milk River at Milk River, current forecasted values for the March to September 2004 period would rank 16th lowest in 91 years of record (1912-2001).

The first three months of the forecast period have been completed, with March-May 2004 recorded runoff volumes ranging from 32 to 40% of average, which is much-below-average, ranking from 12th to 18th lowest on record. Recorded volume data is preliminary and is subject to change. Current volumes represent approximately one-half to two-thirds of the total volumes forecasted. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2004 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 2b. The June through September volume forecast has improved significantly due to above-normal precipitation in the basin during May. Below-average runoff is forecasted for the June through September 2004 period.

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