Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

May 2008

Red Deer River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

As of May 1, 2008, natural runoff volumes for the March to September 2008 period are forecast to be below average to average into Dickson Dam and for the Red Deer River at Red Deer, at 86 and 81% of average, respectively (Table 5a). This is not a change from the April 1 forecasts. The current forecasted volume at Red Deer would rank 36th lowest in 91-years of record (1912-2001).

Significant precipitation of 30 to 60 millimetres on May 7 to 9 in much of the basin should further increase these forecasts next month, depending how much more precipitation occurs during the rest of May. Precipitation during the first twelve days of May has been generally above to much above normal.

The first two months of the forecast period have been completed, with March-April 2008 recorded runoff volumes of 71% of average at Dickson Dam and 51% of average at Red Deer, which are below to much below average for this time period. Recorded volume data is preliminary, due to ice effects, and is subject to change. March-April volumes typically comprise a small portion of the March to September total. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2008 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 5b. Forecasts for May through September 2008 are for below average to average natural runoff volumes.

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