Water Management Update – June 17

As of June 17th the TSW reported the reservoir system was about 95% full overall. Most of the reservoirs in the Gull and Burnt systems are now above their average levels for this date. Two of the larger southern reservoirs, Eels and Crystal lakes, remain well below full but are rising after recent rainfall.

We have had significant rainfall over parts of the Trent basin in the last 10 days with some areas getting up to 3 inches of rain. The Canal lakes and rivers have gone from operating at levels near summer minimum flows to very high flows approaching the maximum flow possible for navigation over a very short period. Further west in the Severn section of the canal system, the level on lake Simcoe has risen rapidly to full after a very low spring levels. If you visit the Parks Canada Website (link top right on this CEWF homepage) you can follow the levels changes on the canal lakes and rivers as well as on the reservoirs. There is no need to flow water from the reservoirs to the canal at this point, and little capacity downstream to pass more water.

In the reservoirs the recent rainfall has meant we have gone from being very near the start of drawdown to feed the canal to a condition of water surplus. Almost all of the spring shortfalls have been made up. Some lakes are experiencing levels that are rising higher than normal for this time of year and some concerns have been received. TSW has begun to actively manage rising levels in the reservoirs and logs are being removed from some dams. Given the high flows downstream in the Trent the range of adjustments in the reservoirs will probably be limited at this time. If significant rainfall events continue there may be problems with high water levels in some lakes.

TSW has confirmed that they do not see the PanAm Games as any different from their normal operation from Horseshoe and Twelve Mile for other white water events. The Games are not expected to significantly impact levels and flows on other lakes. The current high water in some of the Gull reservoirs is the result of late reservoir filling and the recent significant rainfall events.