Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

June 2004

North Saskatchewan River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Natural runoff volumes for the March to September 2004 period are forecast to be below-average to much-below-average for the Bighorn Reservoir, and much-below-average for the Brazeau Reservoir and the North Saskatchewan River at Edmonton (Table 6a). Current forecasts in the basin range from 70 to 91% of average. Current forecasted values for the March to September period for the North Saskatchewan River at Edmonton would rank 10th lowest in 91-years of record (1912-2001). The June 1 volume forecasts are similar to last month's at the Brazeau Reservoir and Edmonton, and 1% higher at the Bighorn Reservoir. Forecasts are 7 to 16% lower than volumes recorded over the same time period last year.

The first three months of the forecast period have been completed, with March-May 2004 recorded runoff volumes at Lake Abraham being below-average, while Edmonton and the Brazeau Reservoir recorded runoff which were lowest and second lowest on record, respectively, both at 56% of average. Recorded volume data is preliminary, and is subject to change. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2004 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 6b. Below to much-below-average runoff is forecasted for the June through September 2004 period. The June through September volume forecast has improved due to normal to above-normal precipitation in the basin during May, and the delay of May snowmelt. Currently, in early June, snowmelt is well underway and as a result water levels are near average or better in mountain-fed streams.

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