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Preliminary runoff report released for Saskatchewan

Water Security Agency releases 2023 report, predicts above normal melt in central but below normal in the south
It is a mix of news for Saskatchewan regions from the Sask. Water Security Agency preliminary spring runoff report for 2023

REGINA - The Water Security Agency has released its preliminary spring runoff outlook for 2023.

The report is in advance of its initial Spring Runoff Report for March 2023, and shows a range of snowmelt conditions across the province based on conditions on Feb. 1.

According to the report findings as reported in a news release Wednesday:

  • Most of southern Saskatchewan had below normal snowmelt runoff potential. Much of the southern areas experienced very dry conditions through the summer and into the fall, according to the report. The exception was the area just east of Moose Jaw through Weyburn, Indian Head and Regina Park which saw wetter fall conditions and near normal snowfall, and those areas project a near normal snowmelt. 
  • Central areas, with above normal snowpack, can expect an above normal snowmelt response. The snowpack is generally above to well above normal to date but flooding is not expected despite the predicted above normal runoff.
  • The far north, encompassing the areas of Uranium City, Stony Rapids and Cluff Lake are anticipated to experience a near normal runoff event.

According to the Water Security Agency the runoff potential is determined based on several factors including conditions at freeze-up, the snowfall received to date and potential expected further precipitation between now and spring melt.

The report also raised some concerns about surface water supply issues being likely in southwestern Saskatchewan this year. The report states that with depleted subsoil moisture, a slow melt will likely result in the bulk of the snowpack recharging the soil column, and that a rapid melt is likely needed to result in improvement to surface water supplies. The current snowpack is not sufficient to satisfy both, their report states. They do note the spring runoff outlook could change.

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