Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

May 2006

Bow River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

As of May 1, 2006, natural runoff volumes for the March to September 2006 period are forecast to range from below average to average in the Bow River basin. Natural runoff volumes are expected to be below average at Banff, average for the Elbow River, and below average to average for Calgary, the Highwood and Kananaskis Rivers and into the Spray Lakes and Cascade Reservoirs (Table 5a). Current natural runoff volume forecasts range from 84 to 95% of average in the basin. Current forecasts have risen by up to 5% of average since the April 1 forecasts, except for the Highwood River forecast which dropped 4%. The current forecasted volume for the Bow River at Calgary would rank 33rd lowest in 91-years of record (1912-2001).

The first two months of the forecast period have been completed, with March-April 2006 recorded natural runoff volumes ranging from 101 to 118 % of average in the basin, except the Highwood River which was 71% of average. Natural runoff volumes were much above average into the Spray Reservoir during March-April, below average in the Highwood River, and above average at the other forecast locations. Recorded volume data is preliminary, and is subject to change. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2006 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 5b.

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