Cottage Owners' Association and Lake Plan

Water Level Update

June 22, 2017: The Kennisis Lakes remain 100% full due to the wet spring weather, which has left the entire watershed saturated and Lake Ontario at an all time high. The TSW’s goal is to restore normal seasonal levels in all parts of the TSW system as soon as possible while continuing to manage water levels so as to mitigate flooding and to ensure safe navigation.

May 18, 2017: Since the extreme high water level at the beginning of May, the lake has been steadily dropping about one inch every two days. Currently it is 4" above the 100% full mark.

The cause of the high water levels is rain! During the week beginning on April 30th the Kennisis Lake weather station recorded 108mm of rain. The monthly average for all of April is 73mm. This rain was part of a widespread regional weather system that led to severe flooding throughout parts of Ontario and Quebec. The Toronto Islands are flooded, so is Wolfe Island near Kingston, so are parts of Prince Edward County. Lake Ontario is at a record high and will take a long time to come back down due to the flood risk in Montreal.

The entire Trent basin is dealing with high water levels and high flow rates. The TSW has postponed the traditional Victoria Day weekend opening of the Trent-Severn Waterway by at least a week due to unsafe navigation conditions.

For Kennisis Lake there has simply been more rain that the system can handle. Under normal conditions the lake level can be held steady if there is less than about 40mm of rain over a 7 day period. When three times that amout of rain falls in a single week then the lake will rise. Due to runoff from the surrounding land, one inch of rain falling on the lake can easily translate into a 3-4 inch rise in water levels. 

The chart below shows the 2017 water level (blue line) close to the multi-year average high (red line) at the start of the year, before rising dramatically in late April. This is in contrast to the high water levels experienced early in 2016 (second chart below) and the low water levels experienced in 2015 (third chart below). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Previous post: May 2, 2017: The ice went out on April 18th. On April 30 & May 1 a total of 65mm (2.5") of rain caused the lake to rise significantly. It is now 7" over the top of the dam just shy of the 100-year record experienced in 2016 (NOTE: The 30-year extreme levels on the TSW chart do not yet include the 2016 data).]

To see a water level chart for 2013 go to Water Levels 2013. For 2014 go to Water Levels 2014. For an update on the dam go to Kennisis Dam. For the TSW water levels chart go to TSW Water Levels and click on Gull River watershed, then Kennisis Lake. To sign up for CEWF e-blasts and to see the latest postings go to CEWF.

More on water levels... 

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