Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

May 2003

Mountain Water Supply Forecast Summary

An unusually large April storm has greatly improved the water supply forecasts, by 45%, for the Red Deer River basin. As of May 1, 2003, average to above-average runoff volumes are forecasted for the Red Deer River headwaters during the March through September 2003 period. The outlook for the lower elevations of the North Saskatchewan River basin and the northern half of the Bow River headwaters have also shown improvement, but below-average runoff is still forecast for this year. Forecasted volumes for the remainder of the North Saskatchewan and Bow River basins, as well as the Oldman and Milk River basins, have changed only slightly since the April 1 Outlook, and remain below-average.

Current forecasted volumes range from 76 to 104% of average (Table 1). Forecasted volumes are generally much higher than volumes recorded in 2001, but lower than those recorded last year. The exceptions are the Red Deer and North Saskatchewan River basins where forecasted volumes are generally much greater than 2002 recorded volumes.

These forecasts assume that precipitation over the summer period will be normal. Precipitation will have a major impact on the summer water supply forecast between now and the end of September. Streamflow volume forecasts will be updated monthly until mid-summer. Check our Forecaster's Comments throughout the month for updated information regarding runoff conditions.

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