Bow River Flows

The Bow River and its tributaries have a wide range of flows throughout the year. Peak flows are reached during late June and July following snow melt in the mountains and taper off until the fall. But since the 2013 flood that devastated Calgary an agreement has been put in place to reduce the impact of spring runoff on the city in the event of extreme flood predictions. 

In 2023 snowpack was low, and runoff started one month earlier. And by July Bow River flows had dropped to half of the historical norms. The following graphs show a comparison between 2022 and 2023.

Daily, from April to October TransAlta forecasts the Bow River Ghost and Bearspaw Reservoirs Discharge Flows. CRUA post these flow projections on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week until the end of July. And if a rapid change in flows is forecast, for the remainder of the year.

The Alberta Government’ s Rivers App reports live flow rates and snowpack across the province. Stream flow advisories are also available on the website.