Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

May 2004

Milk River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Much-below-average natural runoff volumes are forecast for the March to September 2004 period in the Milk River basin (Table 2a). May 1 forecasts in the basin range from 38 to 40% of the median, a decrease of 8 to 10% of median since last month's forecasts. Current forecasts are two-thirds to half the volumes recorded during the March through September 2003 period but over one-and-a-half times higher than the volumes recorded in 2001. For the Milk River at Milk River, current forecasted values for the March to September 2004 period would rank 16th lowest in 91 years of record (1912-2001).

The first two months of the forecast period have been completed, with March-April 2004 recorded runoff volumes ranging from 30 to 39% of average, which is much-below-average. Recorded volume data is preliminary, due to ice effects, and is subject to change. Current volumes represent approximately a third of the volumes forecasted. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2004 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 2b.

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