Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

March 2005

Milk River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

As of March 1, 2005, below to much below average natural runoff volumes are forecast for the March to September 2005 period in the Milk River basin (Table 2). Current forecasts in the basin range from 59 to 63% of the median, 25 to 29% higher than volumes recorded during the March through September 2004 period. For the Milk River at Milk River, current forecasted values for the March to September 2005 period would rank 24th lowest in 91 years of record (1912-2001). The March forecasts are 6% lower than last month's due to below to much below normal precipitation during February.

Although snowpack in the area was severely depleted in January, future precipitation will heavily influence the March-September forecast runoff due to improved soil moisture conditions. This situation results in a wide range of possibilities. If minimal precipitation occurs during the coming months, near record low volumes are possible. Conversely, above normal precipitation could yet result in average runoff volumes.

For technical enquires about this web page please contact Alberta Environment - Environmental Management Water Management Operations Branch at AENV-WebWS@gov.ab.ca