Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

March 2003

North Saskatchewan River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Natural runoff volumes for the March to September 2003 period are forecast to be much-below-average for the North Saskatchewan River basin, ranging from 68 to 86 % of average (Table 6). Much-below-average runoff volumes are expected due to generally much-below-average snowpack in the upper elevations of the basin. Forecasts at the Brazeau and Bighorn Reservoirs dropped 2 to 3% since February 1. In plains areas between Edmonton and the Brazeau and Bighorn Reservoirs, significant snowfall during February improved snowpack in this region to above-normal, which resulted in no change in the Edmonton forecast this month. Current forecasted values for the March to September period for the North Saskatchewan River at Edmonton would rank 5th lowest in 84-years of record (1912-95). The March 1 forecasts are lower than volumes recorded over the same time period last year and higher than those recorded in 2001.

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