Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

June 2004

Red Deer River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Natural runoff volumes for the March to September 2004 period are forecast to be below-average for the Red Deer River basin, ranging from 72 to 78% of average (Table 5a). The current forecasted volumes for the March to September 2004 period for the Red Deer River basin are 1 to 5% lower than last month's, and 20 to 26% lower than the volumes recorded over the same time period last year. Current forecasted volume at Red Deer would rank 28th 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 46 to 64% of average, which is much-below-average, ranking near the tenth lowest on record. Recorded volume data is preliminary, and is subject to change. Current volumes represent approximately one-fifth 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 5b. Below-average to 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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