The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency is projecting that below average, but near-normal, runoff will happen in southeast Saskatchewan this spring, according to the first forecast of the year, which was released on Thursday.
Above normal runoff is expected for the Saskatoon, North Battleford and Prince Albert regions.
"Although most of the province is looking at a near normal situation, the Saskatoon, North Battleford and Prince Albert regions could again be facing some significant challenges with the threat of higher than normal water levels," Minister responsible for Water Security Agency Ken Cheveldayoff said.
"The Water Security Agency is continuing to monitor the situation and will have more detailed information in early March."
Overall, winter precipitation ranges from below average in the southeast to well above average in the Prince Albert region. Fall precipitation in the 30 days before freeze-up was generally below normal with the exception of central Saskatchewan, which was above normal.
The February runoff forecast is based on limited precipitation data and should be used as a general guide for large areas. Local conditions may vary significantly. Above normal precipitation prior to spring runoff and/or a fast melt could result in higher flows and significantly alter the forecast.
A more detailed runoff forecast will be prepared in early March and April.
Since 2010, the Water Security Agency has invested more than $35 million in flood mitigation efforts to nearly 2,000 individuals, communities, rural municipalities and First Nations.
The Water Security Agency was created to lead implementation of the 25 Year Saskatchewan Water Security Plan. It will improve water management capacity and service to individuals, businesses and communities across Saskatchewan.
The agency brings together all of the major responsibilities related to water quality and quantity.