Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

September 2004

Natural Flow Volumes Summary

Volumes recorded during August were generally above average to much above average in the Bow, Oldman, and Red Deer River basins, average in the North Saskatchewan River basin and below average in the Milk River basin. The Oldman, North Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan Rivers, as well as many foothill streams of the Bow and Red Deer River basins, recorded their highest flows of this year in August, a peak which normally occurs in June or July.

Natural runoff volumes recorded for the March through August 2004 period range from below-average to much-below-average in the Oldman, Milk, Bow, Red Deer, and North Saskatchewan River basins, with the exceptions of the Bighorn and Cascade Reservoirs which have recorded normal to above normal inflows.

Volume totals so far this year (March through August) are much lower than those recorded last year in the Milk and Red Deer River basins, and at Banff, Edmonton, and the Oldman Dam. In the remainder of the Bow, North Saskatchewan and Oldman River basins, this year's volumes are generally higher than last year's. Volumes at all locations are greater than those recorded in 2001.

Runoff volume totals for the March through September 2004 period and their percent of average and historical rankings can be found in the following tables:

Table 1 - Milk River basin
Table 2 - Oldman River basin
Table 3 - Bow River basin
Table 4 - North Saskatchewan River basin
Table 5 - Red Deer River basin

* Note that these volumes are preliminary updates of those published in previous months' Water Supply Outlooks. At some stations the volumes may have changed. Previous forecasts for the March through September 2004 period were produced using volume data available at the time. The August 1 forecasts for the August through September 2004 period, however, are largely unaffected.

The final streamflow volume forecast for this year was produced in August, as volumes after September 1 represent a minor portion of the yearly totals. A year in review report will be published next month. 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