Sask., expects normal spring runoff in most areas

Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency predicts near normal spring runoff for most of the province except for the southeast and an area west of Hudson Bay.

The extreme southeast corner had above normal snowfall combined with a wetter than normal fall, the agency said in its March spring runoff forecast.

The heaviest snow pack is below the Rafferty and Alameda reservoirs and near the Manitoba border.

“Unless conditions are favourable leading up to and during the spring melt, well above normal flows are expected,” said the agency.

However, it doesn’t expect significant flood damage unless conditions change.

The Red Deer River Basin, southwest of Hudson Bay, also had well above normal moisture in the fall, plus near normal snow pack, and will see above normal flow.

Elsewhere, warmer than usual temperatures in January and February resulted in melting and runoff in February. Areas south of Biggar and west of Avonlea saw snow melt completely by mid-February, and runoff is either complete or nearly complete.

The WSA said mountain snow pack is currently near normal, and conditions through the Saskatchewan River system through the next six months should also be normal. Lake Diefenbaker is at an above normal level but will be lowered prior to the end of May.

Most water supply reservoirs were at or above normal levels last fall, and surface water supply should be adequate this year.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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