The dry conditions over the last year are leading to Lower than normal predictions for spring runoff this year. We contacted Patrick Boyle with the Water Security Agency to find out what the predictions for this year will be.
"Right now with the dry conditions, we experienced in the summer and fall of 2018 combined with below normal winter precipitation so far. We're expecting a below-normal spring runoff for a lot of areas in the southern part of the province. A lot of reason for that dates back to the summer of 2018 where we saw extremely low rainfall amounts across a huge swath of the southern part of the province. Those conditions continued into the fall where precipitation was below normal so what we're seeing is soil moisture conditions were fairly dry when we went into winter freeze up."
The below normal runoff predictions can lead to some water level problems which can hit producers hard if the water they use for feed is affected.
"Looking at some of the issues, we experienced some water supply issues for livestock south of moose jaw and that could expand and intensify to certain areas. Just something to keep in mind for producers when they're looking at there watering supplies for there livestock, and potentially some communities also that draw water from surface water supplies and that's something to start thinking about here as we move forward."
One thing Patrick did point out is, that this is a prediction and things could change at a moments notice
Patrick. "This is the part nobody wants to hear but there could still be 8-10 more weeks of winter even though we have these dry conditions the picture could change. It just depends on how much snowfall and what that looks like here going into the spring still quite a ways to go this is our first look at it, but right now this is what we expect."
Unless conditions change significantly the Water Security Agency will be aggressive in storing water during the snowmelt runoff period to ensure water supplies are adequate and lake levels are desirable through 2019.