Spring po­ten­tial runoff con­di­tions vary across the South­west

The Southwest Booster - - SPORTS -

South­west Saskatchew­an can ex­pect any­where from near nor­mal runoff to well be­low nor­mal runoff ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent fore­cast is­sued by the Wa­ter Se­cu­rity Agency.

This past week the Wa­ter Se­cu­rity Agency re­leased their lat­est Spring Runoff fore­cast, and the March 1 re­port is fore­cast­ing lit­tle chance of spring flood­ing across the ma­jor­ity of the South­west.

The high­est runoff to­tals are ex­pected in the ex­treme south­ern por­tion of the South­west, but only near nor­mal runoff po­ten­tial ex­ists for an area which in­cludes Eas­tend, Val Marie and Coronach.

The ma­jor­ity of the re­main­der of the South­west can ex­pect be­low nor­mal runoff, while some ar­eas along the South Saskatchew­an River can ex­pect well be­low nor­mal runoff.

In their fore­casts for the Swift Cur­rent Creek and Rush Lake Creek, their data shows the snow­pack in the basin is near nor­mal so a near nor­mal runoff is ex­pected. They also noted the High­field Reser­voir is ap­prox­i­mately 50 per cent full and may not fill in 2019.

The Wa­ter Se­cu­rity Agency over­view of their fore­cast notes that cu­mu­la­tive snow ac­cu­mu­la­tions in the South­west were near or slightly above nor­mal.

“Some agri­cul­tural wa­ter sup­ply is­sues be­gan to emerge in late sum­mer 2018. With be­low av­er­age 2019 snowmelt runoff pro­jected across most of south­ern Saskatchew­an, these wa­ter sup­ply short­ages may in­ten­sify and ex­pand to ad­di­tional ar­eas in south­ern Saskatchew­an and may be­gin to threaten some mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter sup­plies,” the re­port notes.

In the Wa­ter Sup­ply Out­look por­tion of the re­port, the Wa­ter Se­cu­rity Agency notes that most reser­voirs and dugouts went into win­ter at slightly be­low av­er­age lev­els.

”Con­se­quently, with a be­low nor­mal runoff, some sur­face wa­ter sup­plies are ex­pected to be of con­cern in 2019. It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand that the vast ma­jor­ity of prairie runoff oc­curs as a re­sult of snowmelt,” the re­port stated. “When soil con­di­tions are dry, it takes sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall to pro­duce runoff; there­fore, un­less there is ap­pre­cia­ble pre­cip­i­ta­tion in March and April, it is likely there will be limited sur­face runoff in 2019 over much of south­ern Saskatchew­an and the fo­cus will need to be on stor­age dur­ing the spring melt.”

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