Reservoir water levels remain higher than normal on most lakes as TSW deals with too much water in the entire waterway system. The level on Mississagua is now about 7 cms above average for this date and dropping slowly. We have seen active dam operations stabilize our levels while avoiding flood levels on the downstream river.
Over the past three weeks we have experienced significantly more than double our normal rainfall, with Haliburton seeing a full month’s rainfall in just over two weeks. Rainfall totals over the entire Trent basin have been well above normal. Because this is the time of year when the system is already at its highest levels this has resulted in higher than normal levels throughout the system from the reservoirs, through the Kawartha Lakes and down the Otonabee and Trent Rivers all the way to Lake Ontario.
As of Monday, TSW closed navigation on the canal from Young’s Point to Trenton on Lake Ontario until Friday, in order to be able to pass higher than normal flows downstream and bring the Kawartha Lakes down to their normal navigation levels so the navigation channel can reopen. This is the first time in 20 years that navigation has been curtailed in June. The Kawartha Lakes are now dropping significantly and flows on the downstream Otonabee and Trent Rivers are significantly higher than normal while avoiding flood conditions.
The reservoir dams have seen active operations to maintain a minimum flow in the flow through lakes and connecting rivers while drawing levels down slowly. It is anticipated that levels will continue to drop back towards normal levels for this date. Then we will start to see the normal drawdown pattern through July and onward. It is expected that early in July TSW will start to issue their weekly drawdown forecasts.
The long range weather forecast from Environment Canada recognizes that we are under La Nina conditions which means the risk of extreme weather events both temperature and precipitation is higher than normal. TSW continues to monitor the weather and conditions across the system ready for active dam operations if conditions warrant it.
Boaters need to be particularly careful to watch their wakes to avoid excessive shore erosion and damage to shore installations while our lakes are at such high levels.
Residents are encouraged to follow the information posted on the CEWF website and on the TSW water level website for the most up to date information on levels and trends.