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Welcome to our very first blog post on SMRID.com

blog imageWelcome to the first edition of the SMRID blog

This blog will be updated monthly unless there is a need to update this more regularly.

This blog will concentrate on topical news items related to the district and will be a venue to be part of the large scope of avenues available to broadcast news to water users and others that might be interested in the district.

This past irrigation season that commenced around the middle of April and ended on October 7th was a year of dramatic changes in climactic conditions.

When the season started in April it was hot and dry and looking like it was going to be a typical southern Alberta prairie summer.

That all changed in July when the area was subjected to numerous storms that seemed to follow one another for the entire summer.

As a result of these storms operations were very difficult as water demand was area specific rather than district wide. This difference caused water demand to be low in some areas and near normal in others; depending on the severity and location of the storms. In response operators had to ensure flow in the canals were low enough to continue supply to those that needed it but not too high in an attempt to reduce water flowing out at the end of the canals.

In total, and using preliminary numbers, there was about 552,000 ac. Ft. of water used by the three districts who use the main canal; namely SMRID, Taber Irrigation District and Raymond Irrigation District. This amount is roughly the long term average use.

In total our storage is slightly above normal for this time of the year as are the upstream government owned reservoirs. This means that with normal snow accumulation in the mountains we should have a normal year for water supply, but of course that is totally dependent on the winter snowpack.

Snowpack data can be followed at https://rivers.alberta.ca (click on the snow pillow option).  At this time of the season (beginning of December) the snow is sporadic with some sites showing above average snow and other below average. That is not unusual as early in the winter the storms tend to be spotty in nature. The wet snow storms of March and April are the most important in terms of providing sustained river flows through the summer months, while the early snow provides a base onto which the wet snow is deposited.

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