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WCA Environment Committee Report – November 8, 2019

Posted on: November 15, 2019  |   ,

Our fall meeting with Manitoba Infrastructure and Sustainable Development was delayed until October 22nd because of province wide high water issues they were dealing with.
Of particular concern to our committee was the high level of West Hawk. A plan of action to bring down both Caddy and West Hawk was presented by MI. As of Oct 22nd Caddy was above 1048.5 ft. and at the flow rate through the railway tunnels will reach the high summer level of 1047 ft. about November 2nd or 3rd. West Hawk was at 1093.7 and will also reach the high summer level of 1092.7 at the current rate of discharge about November 12th or 13th . They advised any decision to reduce the number of logs in the West Hawk dam and increase the flow in the coming weeks will be reviewed once the normal high water level in Caddy is reached. This avoids causing more damage than has already occurred. The WCA committee recommended that MI review this decision once Caddy reached 1048.0 to ensure the maximum draw down rate is maintained for both lakes.
Lake levels elsewhere are falling to near summer levels. The unseasonable cold weather may result in lakes not being fully drawn down to the winter targets before freeze up. The committee recommended that MI consider starting the winter draw down in mid September rather than the end of September. This would have reduced some of the impact of the heavy rainfall on most of the lakes.
MI confirmed that an open house regarding the plan for replacing the current dam at Falcon Lake will be held in Winnipeg near the end of November.
Kerry Davies presented copies of the Betula Lake survey results to MI and SD. Both agreed to review and forward any questions to Kerry. MI will need to assess the impact of the recommendation to raise the level of the lake 6”. We will reconnect with them in the new year to follow up with any issues that may have arisen and keep the process moving along.
The Lake of the Woods Control Board and Manitoba Hydro have been issuing advisories regarding high water expected to pass through the Winnipeg River system. This impacts those lakes on the Winnipeg River from Nutimik to Eleanor. The latest information is that LOW is reducing their output and that Manitoba Hydro is reducing the forebay at the Seven Sisters dam to ease the high water upstream.

A summary of selected lake levels is available at the link below:

Lake Level Report November 8th 2019

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