The Public Advisory Group appointed by the International Joint Commission (IJC) to assist with finding potential improvements to the regulation of Lake Ontario outflows held its first meeting on June 30. The meeting was held online.
Water Levels and Flows
Basin conditions were generally near average or drier than average in June, around both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron. As a result, water levels did not rise as much as they typically do in June.
After a season of above average snowpack in the Kootenay Basin, inflows to Kootenay Lake peaked on May 31 at 114,600 cfs (3,240 cms). As of June 7, lake inflows were at 42,000 cfs (1,200 cms) and dropping.
An ongoing review of Plan 2014 and the regulation of Lake Ontario outflows will be informed by a diverse Public Advisory Group of people from Canada and the United States.
If you haven’t listened to “Teach Me About the Great Lakes” yet, you’re missing a podcast featuring a quirky host and fun, knowledgeable guests talking about important science and Great Lakes topics.
With flow of the Similkameen River declining since its recent peak on June 1, the backwater effect of the Similkameen River on the Okanogan River is decreasing. This allows for increased outflow from Osoyoos Lake and a corresponding drop in its level. Osoyoos Lake crested at 913.65 ft.
While conditions around Lake Superior were drier than average in May, conditions were again wetter than average on Lake Michigan-Huron, driven by a couple of significant rainfall events in the middle and at the end of the month.
Plan 2014 is the plan for regulating Lake Ontario outflows that went into effect in 2017. In two of the first three years after the plan was adopted, extremely wet conditions caused record floods on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.