Where’s the water…?

We have received several inquiries from members who have been observing their lake levels and/or monitoring the TSW web site – the water levels throughout the TSW reservoir lakes are at the lower end of their historical ranges. And we all know how unusual the weather has been: http://cewf.typepad.com/Wacky_winter.doc

We asked Dave Ness of the TSW for his assessment of the situation, and the plans the TSW has in place to address it. Following is his response, received today:

Over the past two weeks Waterway staff have been undertaking dam operations

with the intent to capture the melt water being generated by the local

watershed. In the early stages of this process the Waterway focus is on

the reservoirs with no other lakes flowing into them. These lakes are

typically more difficult to fill because we do not have the ability to

divert water to them. The Waterway will also focus on large volume lakes

because they require more water to fill them. While filling the headwater

lakes, the water flowing into those downstream is reduced, for a time,

while those upstream are filling. We then turn our attention to lakes

further downstream to prevent them from dropping too low.

Typically lakes like Horseshoe Lake do not have a hard time filling because

80 % of the Gull River watershed is upstream of Minden. On Friday (19th)

the dams at Horseshoe and Twelve Mile were completely closed off, likely

frustrating the residents of Minden with 'dry' riverbed conditions.

Currently there are only a few dams spilling water within the reservoirs

system: Gull Lake, Moore Lake, Canning Lake, and Eels Lake (only slightly

and will be shut off today). These sites will be addressed either today or


With respect to the weather, both short-term and long-term forecasting

remain an imperfect science. There still remains 2 months of spring for

the lakes to fill and it only takes one event to exceed monthly

precipitation averages. While the Waterway is not overly concern about

filling at this point, we are taking the necessary precautions to get the

lakes filled.