Runoff Forecast in Souris Basin - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Runoff Forecast in Souris Basin

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The runoff potential in the Souris-Mouse River system is about average.

That's the report from north of the international border, where the river is known as the Souris.

Jim Olson reports on the spring flooding outlook from Saskatchewan.

A relatively dry fall and normal precipitation in the winter have added up to a prediction of near-normal runoff this spring in the northern reaches of the Souris-Mouse River system.

The river - known as the Souris in Canada and the Mouse in the US - forms in southeastern Saskatchewan.

And according to the province's Water Security Agency, conditions as they stand now are favorable for controlling the spring melt with no flooding.

Here are some of the factors that lead to the "near normal runoff" prediction...

First, precipitation in the 30 days before freeze-up was substantially below normal in the southeastern corner of the province.

In addition, fall topsoil conditions were rated as adequate in most of the watershed - with only a small area rated as surplus.

Precipitation through January was below normal in the region and the long-range forecast doesn't see any major problems.

Add it all up and the Water Security Agency sees a near-normal runoff for the spring of 2014.

Of course, we had the same prediction at this time in the season one year ago - but a series of snow and rain events over the next several weeks created the potential for a very high runoff total in 2013. River flooding was largely avoided, thanks to a very slow melting season - and an unexpected ability for the soil to soak up the melting snow.

The 2014 runoff prediction will be delivered to the International Souris River Board - the group in charge of management of the river system - at its spring meeting later this week.

Jim Olson, KX News.

The International Souris River Board enforces management rules on the river with the help of the Water Security Agency in Saskatchewan and the US Game and Fish Department in North Dakota.

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