Since the 2017 high water event and more recently in 2019, the International Joint Commission and its International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) have heard, and seen first-hand the devastating impacts that extreme water level conditions have had.
Question 7. Why wasn’t more water released in 2018 when Lake Erie levels were high and downstream flooding wasn’t an issue?
Summary for Week Ending 11 December 2019
The average Lake Ontario outflow is expected to be 8,820 m³/s for the coming week. This flow rate is 200 m³/s above the normal safe navigation flow limit that applies at the current Lake Ontario elevation as defined by the regulation plan.
Wet conditions throughout the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin in the spring of 2019 resulted in record or near-record high water levels this past summer on all of the Great Lakes.
When water supplies exceed capacity in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system, water levels rise. When this happens, regulation is looked to as the solution. But during periods of extreme water supply, the ability of regulated outflows to influence Lake Ontario levels is greatly diminished…