Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

March 2002

North Saskatchewan River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Natural runoff volumes (for the March to September 2002 period) are forecast to be below-average for the Brazeau Reservoir and Lake Abraham and much-below-average for the North Saskatchewan River at Edmonton (Table 6). March forecasts in the basin range from 76 to 94 % of average. The North Saskatchewan River basin has a considerable drainage area in the plains area and with below-average snowpack in these regions, has a forecast being lower percentage-wise compared to the upstream locations (Brazeau Reservoir and Lake Abraham). Current snowpack at the higher elevations in the basin is average for this time of the year.

March forecasts improved 1 to 2% from last month due to above-normal snowfall in the foothill areas of the basin. Current forecasted values for the March to September period for the North Saskatchewan River at Edmonton would rank 13th lowest in 84-years of record (1912-95). However, the March 1 forecasts are 9 to 17% higher than recorded values observed over the same time period last year.

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