Spring runoff still expected to be low in southern Sask.

March snowfall has increased the runoff potential in Saskatchewan, but the southern grain belt can still expect very little from the spring melt.

That could lead to agricultural water supply issues.

The Water Security Agency released its most recent outlook April 4, noting that winter snow accumulation was near average across the province except for above average conditions in an area south of the Cypress Hills and near Scott, Prince Albert and Hudson Bay.

“In southern Saskatchewan, most areas are likely to experience a below to well below normal spring runoff outside of an above normal pocket in the southwest corner near Eastend to Val Marie,” said the report.

The WSA is warning that supply issues that began late last summer could intensify and expand, depending on further precipitation.

Snowpack over the Rockies is well above average for this time of year. While Lake Diefenbaker is 0.7 metres below normal supply levels for this time of year, the agency said it should be at “desirable” operating levels by July.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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