Plan 2014 (High Lake Levels)

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news from around the lake ...

https://www.nny360.com/news/stlawre...cle_0b25284c-e136-5776-acda-9a6e1c9ef9cc.html

Lake Ontario outflow managers maintain leeway to seek lower water levels
Lake woes: Gives board flexibility in regulating water levels until June 2020

  • By MARCUS WOLF
    mwolf@wdt.net
    OGDENSBURG — With Lake Ontario water levels still about two feet above normal, officials who manage outflows from the lake will maintain greater leniency to increase outflows when opportunities arise, which may help lower the water levels.
High lake and St. Lawrence River water levels resulted in flooded homes, submerged docks and inundated and eroded shorelines in waterfront communities this year. Some fear the waters will wreak similar havoc next year as levels remain above normal, and predictions from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicate they will most likely remain above normal for months to come.
In an effort to help lower water levels as much as possible, the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, which regulates outflows from the lake through the Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam, received approval from the International Joint Commission, which oversees the board, to keep deviating from outflow regulations in Plan 2014 until June 2020, said Tony David, an American member of the board, on Thursday in front of about 20 local officials at the Dobisky Visitors’ Center. The leeway has been in effect since last May.
The approval allows the board to “get as much water off of Lake Ontario as possible” in the next seven months because the board can, when possible, raise outflows at times that would deviate from the limits of Plan 2014, Mr. David said. The board, however, must ensure allowing more water through the dam would not harm safe shipping conditions, communities on Lake St. Lawrence and their water intakes, downstream communities like Montreal and the ability to form a stable ice cover in the winter.
“Everything is on the table,” Mr. David said, but, “we have to manage our expectations. In 2019, the best we could have hoped for was an additional five or six centimeters off Lake Ontario. It’s not a foot, it’s not a foot and a half, you know, but it’s something.”
The level of Lake Ontario, which typically correlates with the upper St. Lawrence River, was 246.26 feet Tuesday, one foot and eight inches above the historic average for that time, which is 244.59 feet.
The announcement from the river board follows a forecast from the Army Corps of Engineers this month that predicts Lake Ontario and the other Great Lakes will most likely remain above its historic average levels for the next six months.
Depending on the amount of water flowing from Lake Erie and precipitation, Lake Ontario levels could range froma little less than a foot to about two-and-a-half feet above average by the end of the year, according to a chart from the Army Corps. Lake levels could range from below average by about half a foot to more than two-and-a-half feet above normal by mid-spring. The Army Corps expects the other Great Lakes to remain above their average levels for the year.
Lauren M. Schifferle, a civil engineer with the Corps’ Buffalo District, said Wednesday that while Lake Ontario could return to normal levels, the basin would have to experience drought conditions. Ms. Schifferle said Lake Ontario has a greater chance of experiencing high water levels because Lake Erie, the water from which flows into Lake Ontario, and other lakes will be high.
“Certainly our chances of having a repeat of (high waters) next year are higher,” said Robert J. Campany, another American river board member, on Thursday.
With communities still recovering from flooding and waiting to see what the future brings, state Assemblyman Mark C. Walczyk, R-Watertown, invited various local stakeholders to learn about water level management from members of the river board and Army Corps at the forum Thursday at the Dobisky Center.
Mr. Walczyk asked about the possibility of stopping commercial shipping to release more from the dam, but Mr. David said that could cause an economic loss that would ripple through the U.S. economy. He, Mr. Walczyk and John M. Peach, executive director of Save the River, who has called for an early end to shipping, disputed the extent of the economic effects.
When Mr. Walczyk asked for recommendations about how to plan infrastructure projects when facing the possibility of future flooding, Mr. David said the Federal Emergency Management Agency could help, adding that they have been raising their base flood elevations for coastal areas in the wake of recent inundation.
Mr. Campany said communities should consider flood plain information for local zoning regulations and code enforcement for new structures and possibly relocating existing structures
“I think local code enforcement can play a huge role,” he said.
 

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https://www.quintenews.com/2019/11/15/rally-coming-on-lake-ontario-water-levels/

Rally coming on Lake Ontario water levels

Belleville, ON, Canada / Quinte News
John Spitters
November 15, 2019 09:13 am

Local political leaders are urging the public to get involved to send a strong message to senior government and especially the International Joint Commission (I.J.C.) urging action on Lake Ontario’s historically high water levels.
The International Joint Commission, which involves both Canadian and American membership, is the body responsible for monitoring and adjusting the lake’s levels as water eventually flows east into the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence River system.
Mayor of Quinte West Jim Harrison hopes the public will show up for a rally this Wednesday (November 20) in Trenton to back up politicians’ demands that the water levels be immediately reduced.
Flooding was again a serious problem causing millions of dollars in property damage this year and in the recent past, and some experts warn that the flooding could even be worse this coming spring unless the I.J.C. takes action to drop the lake’s levels.

From left to right: Mayors Marg Isbester, Napanee, Brian Ostrander, Brighton, Mitch Panciuk, Belleville, Jim Harrison, Quinte West, and Warden of Hastings County Rick Phillips. All of these local leaders want action on Lake Ontario water levels. (Photo: Quinte News)
“We’ve heard from the Commission that they received very few complaints about high water levels this year. That’s hard to believe but we want to make sure they hear our message loud and clear! Residences, businesses, and municipal infrastructure are being damaged by this regular flooding and we know that something can be done anytime now to help people and organizations live normal lives,” says Harrison.
“We’ve got support from the American side of the lake and from mayors and others up and down the shoreline.”
The water levels rally is set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Duncan McDonald Memorial Community Gardens.
Meanwhile, a public demonstration on high water levels is planned for Ottawa outside the International Joint Commission office and on Parliament Hill next Saturday November 23.
The group organizing that rally, which will begin at noon, is coming from Gananoque and Brockville.
 
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Petition update
Almost 10,000 signatures! But we need 10,000 more... +JOIN THE PROTEST MARCH IN OTTAWA

United Shoreline Ontario
Clarington, Canada


Nov 13, 2019 —

Friends, the time for action is NOW.
Yet the International Joint Commission (IJC) continues to keep the outflows through the Moses Saunders Dam low to protect the multi-national shipping industry. They continue to favour Navigation use over Domestic use, despite the "order of precedence" in the 1909 Treaty. If this continues, the shoreline will be decimated. The IJC calls this 'balancing all interests'.
We are running out of time - IF NAVIGATION IS NOT SUSPENDED FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, the shoreline of Ontario and New York will flood catastrophically in 2020, with immeasurable social, environmental and economic harm.
The domestic shoreline sacrificed while the multi-national shipping industry thrives. Haven't we had enough of this environmental and social terrorism?
We need 15,000 to 20,000 signatures to get the attention of Prime Minster Trudeau and President Trump. PLEASE SHARE THIS PETITION BROADLY, and make sure you sign.
BREAKING NEWS! A PROTEST MARCH has been announced. There will be a march from the IJC offices in Ottawa to Parliament Hill on November 23rd, 2019. Get your life jackets on and come make your voices heard! See details here


https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-2...jV_8bxphdcRaPLyHCt4BG99AbuXylOkbOFKsMWgTrI4fg
 

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news from around the lake....
there was some good news last night regarding the IJC increasing the release of more water. It is a start but remember that shortly that the IJC will also have to decrease the outflows for ice formation on the St Lawrence



https://www.quintenews.com/2019/11/20/ijc-stop-knowingly-ruining-our-lives/



IJC: Stop knowingly ruining our lives
Belleville, ON, Canada / Quinte News

John Spitters
November 20, 2019 09:48 pm

Close to 300 people flooded into the auditorium of the Duncan McDonald Community Gardens in Trenton Wednesday night to protest the recent damaging flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte. People were standing along the side and back walls.
The event, led by Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison and organized by Quinte West staff with the help of others, was called Rally to Repeal Plan 2014.
The crowd cheered as they heard several speakers demand that the International Joint Commission immediately and significantly drop the water levels in the lake.

Flooding has devastated properties belonging to residents and businesses along the lake’s shoreline and that of the upper St. Lawrence River in 2017 and last year.
And many predict with the current record high water levels filling Lake Ontario, there’s a 50/50 chance that flooding next spring could be worse than last year’s, much worse. Some say levels could be 12 inches higher than those that caused multi-millions of dollars damage last spring.
Speaker after speaker reiterated that Plan 2014, which is a written policy that the International Joint Commission (IJC) follows to regulate water levels in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, was designed in secret and was designed with the full knowledge that the people most affected by flooding would be those living on the shores of Lake Ontario and the upper part of the Seaway.
The International Joint Commission is made up of six Commissioners, three from Canada (two from Quebec) and three from the United States.
Several speakers said those involved in drawing up Plan 2014 were focusing on protecting the interests of the commercial shipping industry and promoting the interests of environmental activists who wanted high water to permanently replenish inland swamps.
An American environmentalist involved in creating Plan 2014 was quoted as saying “we have to stop making the protection of property along the shoreline of the lake the main priority when controlling water levels. People have to learn that beautiful manicured lawns don’t need to be running up to the shoreline. Things have to change. Worrying about saving shoreline property is simply bad water management policy.”
The feature speaker was Sarah Delicate, herself a victim of serious flooding on the lake, the founder of United Shorelines Ontario.
She mocked the Canadian Chair of the IJC for suggesting that it couldn’t do anything about the damaging floods on Lake Ontario.
“The Commission absolutely can do something about it. It’s their policy to keep levels artificially high at our expense to protect other interests. We on the lake and upper Seaway are the only victims suffering under Plan 2014. The flooding would be much less severe even if we received a lot rain and winter run-off if they followed Plan 1958DD. We have the proof of that. Only we suffer hundreds of thousands of dollars of property damage because of this wrong-headed policy, only we suffer loss of income and employment fighting the flooding, only we have to be traumatized for months because of this policy dreamed up in secret. I actually became seriously ill dealing with the months long flooding on our lakeside property!”
Many local and regional politicians were on hand for the almost two hour long rally. Bay of Quinte riding MP Neil Ellis told the crowd he was as frustrated as anyone else with the seeming intransigence of the IJC. “I’ve set up a shoreline caucus which will involve MPs from ridings being affected by this policy, this flooding. This is a non-partisan issue and we’ll be meeting very soon to try and pressure the Commission to lower water levels in the lake.”
Other local MPs, such as Conservatives Derek Sloan of Hastings-Lennox and Addington and Philip Lawrence of Northumberland-Peterborough South will sit on Ellis’ shoreline caucus.
Mayor Harrison read out a letter from Premier Doug Ford calling for the Commission to add another Commissioner to represent Ontario’s interests and demanded the Commission change its policy on water levels.
Meanwhile, a retired American professor and a 23-year member of the St. Lawrence River Board of Control (which preceded the IJC) Dr. Frank Sciremammano had some good news in a statement delivered via video at the rally.
“In the past couple of days, I’ve learned that the Commission will be veering away from Plan 2014 and releasing significantly more water out of the lake right through June of next year than it would under the Plan. I believe this shows that the new Commissioners are beginning to understand that things aren’t working and that plan 2014 needs to be modified.”
Near the end of the rally local singer songwriter Charlene Marcus, whose lakeside property has 1,500 permanent sandbags along the shoreline to protect against flooding, got the crowd to sing along with her song demanding the IJC help flooding victims. The words to the chorus appear below. Below that is audio of part of the tune.
People are being asked to write MPs and MPPs, the Prime Minister and sign a petition demanding a drop in the water levels online at Change.org.
A major protest march at the International Joint Commission headquarters in Ottawa is planned for this Saturday.
 
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Friday November 22nd, the average level is at 75.05 M (246.23 Feet)

Per Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Since 2009, the November lake level average has been 74.55 M ( 244.59 Feet )
The average lake level for November 2017 was 74.87 M ( 245.64 Feet )
Surface water temperature by the lift bridge is 7 C / 45 F


Reading date / Lake Average 2019
Nov 08 – 75.105
Oct 25 – 75.03
Oct 11 – 75.11
Sept 20 – 75.28
Sept 06 – 75.386
Aug 23 – 75.51
Aug 16 – 75.585
Aug 09 – 75.65
Aug 02 – 75.72
July 26 – 75.78
July 19 - 75.85
July 11 - 75.89
July 05 - 75.93
June 28 - 75.95
June 21 - 75.95
June 14 – 75.984
June 07 – 75.97
May 30 - 75.94
May 24 - 75.86
May 17 - 75.795
May 03 - 75.51
Apr 29 - 75.41
Apr 12 - 75.10
Mar 29 - 75.018
Mar 15 - 75.0
Mar 08 - 74.97
Feb 22 - 75.00
Feb 08 - 74.96
Jan 25 - 74.88
Jan 11 - 74.81
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Reading date / Lake Average 2018
Dec 28 – 74.78
Dec 14 – 74.72
Nov 30 – 74.696
Nov 16 – 74.68
Nov 02 – 74.67
Oct 19 – 74.614
Oct 05 – 74.72
Sept 21 – 74.785
Sept 07 – 74.86
Aug 24 – 74.91
Aug 10 – 74.98
Jul 30 – 75.12
Jul 13 – 75.129
Jun 29 – 75.228
Jun 15 – 75.25
Jun 01 – 75.33
May 18 – 75.35
May 04 – 75.23
Apr 20 – 75.08
Apr 06 – 74.97
Mar 23 – 74.918
Mar 09 – 74.99
Feb 23 – 74.973
Feb 09 – 74.90
Jan 26 – 74.95
Jan 12 – 74.81 M
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Reading date / Lake Average 2017
Dec 27 – 74.71 M
Dec 08 – 74.795
Nov 24 – 74.89
Nov 09 – 74.929
Oct 27 – 74.83
Oct 10 – 74.95
Sept 29 – 74.99
Sept 15 – 75.12
Sept 01 – 75.28
Aug 18 - 75.47
Aug 04 - 75.6
July 22 - 75.71

And courtesy of the IJC,, their numbers
International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board
The average Lake Ontario outflow is expected to be 8,870 m³/s for the coming week.
This flow rate is 200 m³/s above the normal safe navigation flow limit that applies at the current Lake Ontario elevation as defined by the regulation plan. Actual outflows will depend on conditions in the St. Lawrence River.

Week Ending: Average this time
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 of the year (c)
Lake Ontario / Lac Ontario
Actual end of week level: 75.02 (246.13) 74.53 (244.52)
Computed Plan 2014 Level (a): 75.10 (246.39)
Computed Preproject Level (b): 75.77 (248.59)
Weekly Mean Outflow: 8910 (314700) 7250 (256000)
Weekly Total Supply: 7600 (268400) 6960 (245800)
Lake St. Lawrence at Long Sault Dam 72.89 (239.14) 73.04 (239.63)
Weekly Mean Level:
Lake St. Louis at Pointe-Claire Weekly 21.71 (71.23) 21.20 (69.55)
Mean Level:
Montreal Harbour at Jetty #1 Weekly Mean 6.83 (22.41) 6.39 (20.96)
Level:
Ottawa River at Carillon Weekly Mean 1940 (68500) 1890 (66700)
Outflow:
Preliminary Lake Ontario Outflow for Week 8870 (313200) 7270 (256700)
Ending Fri, 29 Nov 2019:
Levels are in metres (feet) IGLD 1985. Supply and flows are in cubic metres (feet) per second m³/s (ft³/s).
(a) Levels that would have occurred with strict adherence to Plan 2014.
(b) Levels that would have occurred had there been no Lake Ontario regulation.
(c) For comparison purposes, Lake Ontario water level data since 1918 are used to be consistent with those published in the US and Canadian Great Lakes bulletins (http://www.waterlevels.gc.ca/C&A/bulletin-eng.html). Other averages are for the periods as follows: Lake Ontario outflows and levels at Long Sault and Pointe-Claire since 1960; Montreal since 1967; and Ottawa River outflow at Carillon since 1963.
The regulation plan for Lake Ontario specifies a weekly average outflow from Saturday through the following Friday, inclusive. To provide timely information for the coming week to the hydropower and Seaway operators, and our readers, we complete the regulation plan calculations each Thursday. Our calculations use the data available at the time, which are from the previous seven days (Thursday through Wednesday). Since the two time periods do not exactly coincide, their data are usually slightly different.
The table shows the actual flow for the week ending Wednesday. It also gives the preliminary flow for the coming week ending Friday. We emphasize that this is the preliminary flow, since unforeseen flow changes may occur after we have issued our notice. When these flow changes occur, they are reflected in the subsequent week's notice.
Information in this report is compiled from provisional data provided by: Environment & Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Hydro Quebec, Ontario Power Generation Inc, the New York Power Authority, and the U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration.
Visit the Board's website at https://ijc.org/en/loslrb to find out more.
 

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More news from around the lake …

https://www.marinelink.com/news/seaway-closing-cost-mln-per-week-473224
Seaway Closing to Cost $250Mln per Week
Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

Laxman Pai November 24, 2019
Closing the St. Lawrence Seaway in December to accommodate higher water outflow at the Moses-Saunders dam would cost the Canadian and U.S. economies $250 million/per week — impacting farmers’ grain exports, manufacturing plant operations and disrupting deliveries of fuel, construction materials and road salt for winter safety to cites throughout the region.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce is issuing today’s comments to provide a wider context of the economic repercussions related to calls to increase the water outflow at Moses-Saunders dam to levels that would be unsafe for navigation and halt shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway during December.

Increasing outflows above the safe navigation limit to the highest levels possible would lower Lake Ontario levels less than 4 centimeters a week. In a closure situation, it would take more than two weeks to clear ship traffic and removal of buoys duties before outflows begin. Ice conditions could also prohibit maximum levels. This negligible reduction would come at a huge cost to commercial navigation.

“We have the greatest sympathy for Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River residents and business owners that have been impacted by flooding due to unprecedented weather conditions. This situation has also cost our supply chain millions of dollars,” says Chamber of Marine Commerce President Bruce Burrows.

“Halting St. Lawrence Seaway shipping altogether would cause major harm to our economy and achieve no noticeable benefit for flooding victims. We call on the IJC and government leaders to collaborate with affected stakeholders to find solutions that look at shoreline resiliency, flood management zones and what can be done during the winter when the St. Lawrence Seaway is closed to navigation.”

The costs of stopping commercial navigation at this critical point in December will significantly affect industries that have organized their supply chains around the Seaway’s shipping season. Even if companies were able to find alternative transportation (with this very short notice), this would cost considerably more and force huge volumes of cargo onto thousands of trucks at the detriment to the environment and road congestion.
 

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https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/protesters-blame-new-great-lakes-plan-for-floods-on-lake-ontario-ottawa-river

Protesters blame new Great Lakes plan for Ottawa River, Lake Ontario floods
KELLY EGAN
Updated: November 24, 2019
Water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River urgently need to be lowered to avoid widespread flooding in 2020, a spirited band of shoreline citizens demanded Saturday.
About 150 protesters gathered at the Laurier Avenue offices of the International Joint Commission, which manages the level and health of the Great Lakes, then marched to Parliament Hill to appeal to the prime minister.
Among them was a solid contingent of residents from along the Ottawa River, who believe that the IJC’s Plan 2014 contributed to catastrophic flooding on the tributary river in 2017 and 2019.
Standing on an overturned milk crate, Sarah Delicate, a key player in United Shoreline Ontario, said Lake Ontario needed to be lowered more than half a metre by the end of December or waterfront residents and businesses would face severe hardship again next year.
Sarah Delicate of Bowmanville, Ont., was one of the people who travelled to Ottawa for Saturday’s rally at the International Joint Commission Office before making their sway to Parliament Hill to protest perceived inaction on extreme flooding and high water levels on rivers in this part of the country.
“If we don’t, our chances of avoiding a third catastrophic flood in four years will be extremely difficult to mitigate.” By some forecasts, Delicate added, water levels in 2020 could be 30 centimetres higher than this year’s disastrous peak.
Fighting a bitter wind, speaker after speaker — some wearing life jackets or sandbag togas — told stories of financial hardship, property damage, mental stress and ever-present uncertainty about whether hundred-year floods would become commonplace on the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers.
Several said water regulators were trying to keep the water high on the St. Lawrence system to please shipping companies, while holding back flow on the discharging Ottawa to keep Montreal safe.
Bob Clark, 65, is part-owner of MetalCraft Marine, which has operations in Kingston and Cape Vincent, N.Y. He said the high water levels this year — the worst he had seen in more than 30 years — cost the company about $100,000 in damage and lost revenue. Docks were wrenched, recreational marina traffic was reduced and there was concern about the future of the firm’s 80 employees, who also build commercial boats.
“They paint the whole thing as an environmental breakthrough. It’s not,” Clark said. “The damage to the environment this year was historic.”
The commission says that a combination of massive snow melt, record rainfall and climate change contributed to the historic floods in 2017 and 2019 and that no regulation plan could have prevented them. Because the two floods were so close together, however, residents and politicians are beginning to question Plan 2014.
A group of 11 eastern Ontario mayors agreed this past week to ask for a repeal of the plan, and New York State has commenced a lawsuit against the IJC for failing to take proper measures to protect shoreline residents and state-owned waterfront facilities.
Saturday’s rally included people who had travelled to Ottawa from as far away as Bowmanville and Toronto.
Debra McCord and her husband Bill live in the hamlet of Fernbank, about five kilometres west of Brockville, in an 1882 Victorian-style cottage along the St. Lawrence.
They are in the midst of raising the home and moving it five metres further back on the shoreline after flooding invaded their just-renovated crawl space in 2019. Debra McCord said their expenses were in “the six figures” and the stress has been never-ending since 2017.
“For three years, the sleepless nights, looking out at the water, wondering, wondering why no one is doing anything.”
She believes the high-water levels have been a man-made outcome and the IJC should return to protocols it used from 1958 until 2016.
Steve Tomlin, 65, was at the rally with his wife, Juanita. They live on a section of Bayview Drive in Constance Bay that was hard hit twice in the past three years. He recognizes the complexity of the system, with multiple regulators and hydro utilities involved, but he’s also suspicious about the effects of Plan 2014.
“Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but it has to be looked into,” Tomlin said.
Like many who live along the Ottawa, he’s nervous about what 2020 might bring.
To contact Kelly Egan, please call 613-726-5896 or email kegan@postmedia.com
Twitter.com/kellyegancolumn

*********************************************************************************

And from the CBC
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/fight-high-water-pits-flooded-communities-against-shipping-industry-1.5370988
 
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scotto

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Once again no real gains in November and today we have very heavy seas, waves are hitting the bottom of the lift bridge. If the water level was at the same level as it was last April, the waves would be rolling across Beach Blvd.

 

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News I am sure no one wants to read but the IJC knows best ??

https://www.intelligencer.ca/news/local-news/river-board-reduces-outflows-on-lake-Ontario

Effective midnight Saturday, operators of the Moses-Saunders Dam in Cornwall will reduce Lake Ontario outflows by 20 cubic metres per second contrary to Quinte region lakefront owners’ demand to open floodgates to prevent further shoreline damage.
The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board will tighten sluices ever so slightly to stem outflow from 8,870 cubic metres per second to 8,850 cm/3, confirmed Rob Caldwell, secretary of the river board, Friday in a telephone interview.
Caldwell said the “stepdown is in march step with the decline of Lake Ontario levels.”
He cited daily statistics made available on the river board’s website showing the Lake Ontario water level has dropped to 75.0 metres above sea level (246.06 ft.) a month after a major Halloween storm dumped massive rainfall over several days that lead to higher water levels on the lake and corresponding higher outflows at the dam.
With lowered water levels on the lake in play now, capping outflows are necessary this weekend to slow down fast currents to encourage safer shipping conditions for Great Lakes vessels plying the lake and the river downstream, he said.
The new outflows reduction of 20 cm/s is the equivalent of holding back 20,000 one litre bottles of water every single second or 1.72 billion litres in 24 hours.
The decision to retain more lake water behind the dam is the second such reduction since a Nov. 20 rally in Quinte West drew hundreds calling for the repeal of Plan 2014 which governs high water marks triggers to release water from the dam downstream.
Caldwell said he understands emotions are high but said regulators and operators of the dam are doing their best to balance the safety of citizens who live above and below the dam as well as shipping companies who operate vessels in the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Despite the reduction, Caldwell told The Intelligencer water outflows will still remain at 200 cm/s higher than prescribed under Plan 2014 with even more flexibility in months ahead given the IJC’s instruction to deviate from Plan 2014 on Nov. 22.
“We’re providing all possible relief to riparians upstream but we have to consider all stakeholders,” Caldwell said.
Not only lakefront homeowners on Lake Ontario are suffering from high water levels, he said.
Seaway companies, as well as hydro companies, are being effected as it takes ships five extra hours to traverse the St. Lawrence Seaway canal systems and hydro firms are losing hydroelectric generation money from opened spillways.
“Nobody wants this high water – it’s not beneficial to anyone,” Caldwell said, adding “we’re riding the limits within the system.”
Brighton resident John Martinello was not impressed with word the river board was about to hold back more water when lake levels are so high above seasonal norms.
“Despite the facts that Lake Ontario is 1.51 ft (approx 1 ft, 6 inches) above its long-term average level and that Lake Erie (the source of 80 per cent of all water that enters Lake Ontario) is 1.90 ft (approx 1 ft, 11 inches) above its long-term average level, the International Lake Ontario-St Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) will — once again — reduce Lake Ontario outflows,” he wrote in an email to media and local politicians Friday.
“It seems clear to me that the current Canadian federal government is, at best, [un]interested in the issue of Lake Ontario flooding,” he said.
 
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got to like it, thinking forward

https://www.wwnytv.com/2019/12/03/save-river-seeks-delay-seaway-shipping-season/

Save the River seeks delay in 2020 seaway shipping season


(Source: WWNY)
December 3, 2019 at 5:12 PM EST - Updated December 3 at 5:12 PM
CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - The environmental group Save The River is calling for a delayed start of the 2020 shipping season on the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The group is asking for Governor Andrew Cuomo's support.
In a letter addressed to Governor Cuomo, Save The River advocates that this request be made now, rather than later in the winter, in order to allow the shipping industry to make necessary adjustments to their schedules.
Save The River has previously made three requests to the seaway to take action to allow an increase in outflows, including two requests for patterning that were denied and an unanswered request to close the 2019 shipping season early.
“We are proposing that the Seaway delay the opening of the 2020 shipping season until the beginning of the Ottawa River freshet. According to members of the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, this is the best remaining opportunity to continue to lower water levels to seasonal averages,” said John Peach, executive director of Save The River, in a news release. “As the Great Lakes remain at historical season highs going into the winter season, we believe that the losses and damages sustained by the region’s riparians and businesses are at least equal to, if not greater than, the loss that shipping may sustain by a delay in next spring’s opening.”
State and national leaders were copied on the letter including Senator Patty Ritchie, Assemblyman Mark Walcyzk, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Senator Charles Schumer, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
 
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Opie

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Glad to see that the about message by "Save the River " is getting more media coverage


Friday December 6th, the average level is at 75.03 M (246.16 Feet)

Per Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Since 2009, the December lake level average has been 74.53 M ( 244.52 Feet )
The average lake level for December 2017 was 74.77 M ( 245.30 Feet )
Surface water temperature by the lift bridge is 6.6 C / 44 F


Reading date / Lake Average 2019
Nov 22 – 75.05
Nov 08 – 75.105
Oct 25 – 75.03
Oct 11 – 75.11
Sept 20 – 75.28
Sept 06 – 75.386
Aug 23 – 75.51
Aug 16 – 75.585
Aug 09 – 75.65
Aug 02 – 75.72
July 26 – 75.78
July 19 - 75.85
July 11 - 75.89
July 05 - 75.93
June 28 - 75.95
June 21 - 75.95
June 14 – 75.984
June 07 – 75.97
May 30 - 75.94
May 24 - 75.86
May 17 - 75.795
May 03 - 75.51
Apr 29 - 75.41
Apr 12 - 75.10
Mar 29 - 75.018
Mar 15 - 75.0
Mar 08 - 74.97
Feb 22 - 75.00
Feb 08 - 74.96
Jan 25 - 74.88
Jan 11 - 74.81
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Reading date / Lake Average 2018
Dec 28 – 74.78
Dec 14 – 74.72
Nov 30 – 74.696
Nov 16 – 74.68
Nov 02 – 74.67
Oct 19 – 74.614
Oct 05 – 74.72
Sept 21 – 74.785
Sept 07 – 74.86
Aug 24 – 74.91
Aug 10 – 74.98
Jul 30 – 75.12
Jul 13 – 75.129
Jun 29 – 75.228
Jun 15 – 75.25
Jun 01 – 75.33
May 18 – 75.35
May 04 – 75.23
Apr 20 – 75.08
Apr 06 – 74.97
Mar 23 – 74.918
Mar 09 – 74.99
Feb 23 – 74.973
Feb 09 – 74.90
Jan 26 – 74.95
Jan 12 – 74.81 M
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Reading date / Lake Average 2017
Dec 27 – 74.71 M
Dec 08 – 74.795
Nov 24 – 74.89
Nov 09 – 74.929
Oct 27 – 74.83
Oct 10 – 74.95
Sept 29 – 74.99
Sept 15 – 75.12
Sept 01 – 75.28
Aug 18 - 75.47
Aug 04 - 75.6
July 22 - 75.71

And courtesy of the IJC,, their numbers

International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board
The average Lake Ontario outflow is expected to be 8,830 m³/s for the coming week. This flow rate is 200 m³/s above the normal safe navigation flow limit that applies at the current Lake Ontario elevation as defined by the regulation plan. Actual outflows will depend on conditions in the St. Lawrence River.
Week Ending: Average this time
Wed, 04 Dec 2019 of the year (c)
Lake Ontario / Lac Ontario
Actual end of week level: 74.98 (246.00) 74.53 (244.52)
Computed Plan 2014 Level (a): 75.07 (246.29)
Computed Preproject Level (b): 75.75 (248.52)
Weekly Mean Outflow: 8850 (312500) 7280 (257100)
Weekly Total Supply: 8220 (290300) 7320 (258500)
Lake St. Lawrence at Long Sault Dam 72.74 (238.65) 73.04 (239.63)
Lake St. Louis at Pointe-Claire Weekly 21.73 (71.29) 21.26 (69.75)
Mean Level:
Montreal Harbour at Jetty #1 Weekly Mean 6.81 (22.34) 6.52 (21.39)
Level:
Ottawa River at Carillon Weekly Mean 1820 (64300) 2070 (73100)
Outflow:
Preliminary Lake Ontario Outflow for Week 8830 (311800) 7220 (255000)
Ending Fri, 13 Dec 2019:
Levels are in metres (feet) IGLD 1985. Supply and flows are in cubic metres (feet) per second m³/s (ft³/s).
(a) Levels that would have occurred with strict adherence to Plan 2014.
(b) Levels that would have occurred had there been no Lake Ontario regulation.
(c) For comparison purposes, Lake Ontario water level data since 1918 are used to be consistent with those published in the US and Canadian Great Lakes bulletins (http://www.waterlevels.gc.ca/C&A/bulletin-eng.html). Other averages are for the periods as follows: Lake Ontario outflows and levels at Long Sault and Pointe-Claire since 1960; Montreal since 1967; and Ottawa River outflow at Carillon since 1963.
The regulation plan for Lake Ontario specifies a weekly average outflow from Saturday through the following Friday, inclusive. To provide timely information for the coming week to the hydropower and Seaway operators, and our readers, we complete the regulation plan calculations each Thursday. Our calculations use the data available at the time, which are from the previous seven days (Thursday through Wednesday). Since the two time periods do not exactly coincide, their data are usually slightly different.
The table shows the actual flow for the week ending Wednesday. It also gives the preliminary flow for the coming week ending Friday. We emphasize that this is the preliminary flow, since unforeseen flow changes may occur after we have issued our notice. When these flow changes occur, they are reflected in the subsequent week's notice.
Information in this report is compiled from provisional data provided by: Environment & Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Hydro Quebec, Ontario Power Generation Inc, the New York Power Authority, and the U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration.
Visit the Board's website at https://ijc.org/en/loslrb to find out more.
 
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News from around the lake

https://www.oswegocountynewsnow.com/columnists/shipping-industry-must-come-to-table-to-find-solution-to/article_b4379a14-1c30-11ea-93be-a7f2ca5e1cc9.html

Shipping industry must come to table to find solution to ‘dangerously high’ Lake Ontario levels
  • By JIM SHEA President, Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Alliance
  • 23 hrs ago
The shipping industry continues to insist on lake levels that favor their profits over the destruction of our homes, the lakeshore environment and the other business related economies along the lake and river. The shipping interests talk about the negative impact on the shipping related economies in the region while ignoring the damaging effects on other areas of the economy such as the homeowners, marinas, fishing guides, boaters, lake-shore restaurants and municipalities. They expect us all to suffer huge annual losses so they can earn more profits with longer seasons and more cargo on board that deeper river levels permit.
In several recent articles, the shipping industry has stood steadfastly against any changes to the IJC Plan 2014 or temporarily halting shipping to get the lake levels down to a reasonable level near the historical average of 244’. While shipping officials claim shutting down this winter or in the spring would cost them $193 million per week in revenue, they expect riparians and municipalities to incur billions in potential damages next spring. Our respective governments could certainly pass on the cost of lakeshore destruction to the shipping industry by way of a resiliency tax or toll to pay for the cost of shoreline protection and damages to municipal and riparian infrastructure. The relationship between high water levels in the fall and winter and flooding in the Spring is clear and simple: high water levels on the lake in fall and winter significantly increase the probability of flooding in the spring.
Solutions do exist for the shipping industry that do not include keeping the water levels dangerously high each fall and endangering riparians. Shallow water ships and barges exist that can carry large payloads in shallower water. Another waterway around the Moses-Saunders Dam could be dredged that allowed large ships to navigate parts of the river that are shallower, or, shallow areas or the river can be dredged to safe shipping depths.
While lakeshore riparians and municipal governments outcry has been loud and constant, so far, the shipping industry refuses to do anything but remain committed to asserting their influence in keeping lake levels to their benefit while lake-shore destruction is ignored. What will it take to get the attention of the shipping industry? Do lake and river riparians start a shipping blockade on the river this spring? Do they dump shipping cargo into the river as the revolutionary colonists did at the Boston Tea Party? Perhaps a poor soul who has lost his home, business and family due to flooding will act out and do something far more destructive. Examples of horrible acts are played out almost daily across the world stage by desperate oppressed people who seek attention for their cause and justice from governments that ignore them. Another lakeshore flood in 2020 will certainly bring riparian anger to a boiling point and some form of civil disobedience or violent act is likely. While I would not advocate for any of those actions above, the potential for the situation to get out of control certainly exists when people’s homes and businesses are destroyed.
In summary, the shipping industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with huge financial resources and government support on both sides of the lake and river. The shipping industry and our collective governments (state, federal and Canadian) need to come together and find solutions to acceptable lake levels that protect shoreline riparian’s property, businesses and municipalities while accommodating the shipping industry interests where feasible. The destruction of people’s homes, businesses and the lakeshore environment need to stop before riparian rage over-comes reason creating potential for the situation to turn ugly next spring. Which elected officials will take a leadership role and work with us and the shipping industry to ensure a reasonable solution?
 
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News from around the lake-shipping season extended one more week



https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/9776315-welland-canal-to-remain-open-until-january/




Welland Canal to remain open until January
St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. running pilot program

News 12:00 AM by Nathaniel Johnson The Welland Tribune


St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. will extend the shipping season on the canal this year in a pilot program. - Dave Johnson , Torstar

Niagara residents can expect bridges over the Welland Canal to stay up into the new year as St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. extends its 2019 shipping season.

It's part of a pilot program that will see the 43-kilometre-long link between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario stay open until noon Wednesday, Jan. 8, said seaway spokesman Andrew Bogora.

"What we're looking at is a situation where some domestic carriers have opportunities to move cargoes between lakes Erie and Ontario and points beyond," he said.

Under the pilot program, vessels wanting to transit the eight-lock canal after 11:59 p.m. Boxing Day must enter into a written agreement with the seaway corporation.

Bogora said the extension is subject to conditions, mainly weather.

"It's very unlikely any ocean-going vessels will take advantage of this. they have to be clear of the Montreal-Lake Ontario section by Dec. 31."

As of midnight Dec. 12, the number of ocean-going vessels above St. Lambert, Que., was 40, as compared to 50 in 2018. Above Port Weller, the number was 20 compared to 27 in 2018.

Once the season winds down, Bogora said, the seaway corporation will review the pilot program and what was accomplished.

He said it's too early to contemplate when the seaway will open for the 2020 shipping season.

The 3,700-km-long seaway system — it stretches from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River to the western shores of Lake Superior — typically opens near the end of March once the Great Lakes thaw.
 

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More news from around the Lakes

Full article https://www.interlochenpublicradio.org/post/can-drastic-measures-lower-lake-michigan-water-levels-shoreline-property-owners-think-so

Can drastic measures lower Lake Michigan water levels? Shoreline property owners think so
By Daniel Wanschura 2 hours ago

On a cold and windy afternoon in Manistee, Ron Wilson trudged through snow to check on his shuttered cottage.
Not much changed since he was last there — which is good — because just a few feet of land separate the beach house from Lake Michigan.
“We once had a deck out here,” says Wilson, pointing behind the house. “But the storms in mid-October just took out all the beach in front of us.”
Ron Wilson’s great-grandfather built the cottage in 1933. Since then, it’s been the spot for huge family gatherings every summer. His son even got married on the beach here six years ago.
But during a big storm this fall, huge waves from a brimming Lake Michigan shook the walls of the modest house. Wilson feared nearly 90 years of family memories were crashing to an end.
“I was crying, because you could sense that this was going to be the last time we were going to be seeing the cottage,” he says. “The cottage was going to be falling into the lake.”
Luckily for Wilson, it wasn’t the end. A local contractor came out just in time to dump a bunch of boulders into the water in front of the cottage — a sort of breakwall — to limit more erosion from the high waves.
But Wilson wants more than just a breakwall; he wants lower lake levels.
Looking for solutions
Wilson is also the president of the Great Lakes Coalition an alliance of several thousand property owners concerned about preserving their shoreline. On behalf of the Great Lakes Coalition, Wilson wrote a letter to the International Joint Commission or IJC, asking for drastic action to lower lake levels.
The IJC is an advisory organization made up of three Canadian commissioners and three U.S. commissioners. When there’s an issue on any body of water that borders the U.S. and Canada, including the Great Lakes, the IJC helps resolve it. When water levels are extreme, shoreline property owners often look to the IJC for possible solutions.
What Wilson and the Great Lakes Coalition have suggested is this: Let more water out of Lake Michigan through the Chicago River and restore the natural flow of a couple Canadian bodies of water.
“Reverse the flow back into the Hudson Bay as opposed to coming into Lake Superior and that would reduce the water levels by 6 to 8 inches,” says Wilson. “Plus, increasing the flow [through the Chicago River] would be a foot, and that would be a lot.”
Experts argue that particular amount isn't realistic, but most do agree it would be a matter of inches instead of feet.
Canadian reversal
In the 1940s, an Ontario power company diverted water flowing into Long Lac and the flow of the Ogoki river in Canada. They did this by building dams to generate hydroelectric power.
Before the dams, water from Long Lac and the Ogoki flowed north into Hudson Bay. But after the diversions were built the water flowed south into Lake Superior and down through the entire chain of Great Lakes. In a report by the International Joint Commission those two diversions raised the average water level on Lake Michigan by over four inches.
Wilson thinks reversing Long Lac and the Ogoki back to their natural flow, plus a few other tweaks here and there, could lower water levels on Lake Michigan and ease the pressure on shoreline property owners — even if it’s a matter of inches.
But it turns out the proposed solution is more complicated than that.
Not a realistic solution
“Manipulations of those diversions is not something the IJC can do," says Jeff Kart, an executive editor with the IJC. “We don’t have control over those diversions. Changes to the Long Lac and Ogoki Diversions are governed by the Province of Ontario, and the Chicago Diversion is governed by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.”
The Great Lakes Coalition is hoping the IJC would make recommendations to those governing bodies. But Kart says even if the diversions were reversed, it really wouldn’t have much of an effect for shoreline property owners in Michigan.
“The IJC did a report in 1988 that found that closing the Long Lac and Ogoki Diversions could reduce the level of Lake Michigan by about 2 to 3 inches, but it would take two years,” Kart says.
That’s because the Great Lakes system is so huge.
Kart says they’re getting slammed with requests from people worried about their property and wanting the IJC to do something about it. He says it’s natural for them to want to look for someone to solve their problems, but it’s not the IJC.
Great Lakes expert Peter Annin sympathizes with those affected.
“I feel for the people who are so frustrated by these water levels,” Annan says. “I really do.”
Annin directs the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation at Northland College in Wisconsin. He also wrote the book, “Great Lakes Water Wars.”
“The hard part about Great Lakes water levels, is that what’s good for you can actually hurt someone else, he says. “What I hear and what we tend to hear regularly are solutions that hurt other people and those aren’t really solutions.
Annin says the cost of solutions like those proposed by the Great Lakes Coalition would be high both economically and environmentally.
For example, shutting down the two dams in Canada and restoring the natural flow of the Long Lac and Ogoki’ River would cost Ontario Power Generation revenue and electricity generated by the dams. Electricity cost for residents in the region would also spike, and a whole lot of water would suddenly be back in the Hudson Bay watershed after not being there for a long time.
“That whole ecosystem up there has over, almost, three-quarters of a century gotten used to not having all that water around,” Annan says. “You’ve got cottages up there, you have First Nations people who live up there.”

What's next?
So where does that leave people like Wilson of Manistee? People in desperate need for something to be done to save their shoreline property? Annin says the reality is solutions like the ones being talked about are unrealistic.
“I think the solution, as frustrating as it is, is adaptation,” Annin explains. “I don’t think it’s going to be realistic to try and wrap our big arms around this entire globally significant system that has 20 percent of the earth's fresh surface water and think we can wrestle it to the ground and control it.”
Right now, Lake Michigan is over three feet higher than its average for December, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts levels will only get higher in 2020. But Annin says we have to learn to live with this volatility.
“I don’t think we’re going to be able to fix it,” he says. “And that doesn’t sound like a solution to a lot of people, I understand that, but I don’t think it’s realistic to think we’re going to be able to engineer our way out volatility on a basin-wide basis.”
In the meantime, property owners can put boulders down, like Wilson did, and hope.
 

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Full article https://www.intelligencer.ca/news/local-news/harrison-wants-action-on-high-water-levels

Harrison wants action on high water levels

Tim Meeks
More from Tim Meeks

Published on: December 18, 2019 | Last Updated: December 18, 2019 4:01 PM EST

Jim Harrison wants a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland regarding high water levels along the shores of Lake Ontario.
While receiving an update on plans to mitigate future flooding incidents at Monday’s Quinte West council meeting, the mayor was frustrated his and other municipal leaders’ concerns are not being taken seriously by the International Joint Commission, the governing body for water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
CAO Charlie Murphy updated council on what’s being done to prepare for the next flooding incident, which may become more frequent in the future, after major floods in both 2017 and 2019.
“We realize the International Joint Commission is sending out messages and what they’re sending out is not what you want to hear,” said Harrison. “It’s very difficult to imagine that your federal government and your International Joint Commission, in this case, will not listen to people, will not listen to concerns, will not respond to the needs.”
Council was told Sarah Delicate from United Shorelines Ontario is planning rallies similar to the one held last month at Trenton Community Gardens, in Brighton, the Durham region and across Ontario.
Murphy said a staff working group has been formed to start preparing “for what may be happening in the spring of 2020. There are representatives from most of the departments and the OPP.”
He also pointed out GIS supervisor Steve Whitehead has created an app that will display shorelines on an elevation map with an overlay to show water levels for residents.
“The fire department has a first draft of an emergency plan, and we will be meeting to develop a report to come to council on the protocols and a plan to be prepared. It is also our intent to communicate with residents the resources that are available to them to assist themselves with the flooding as well as what the city may or may not do,” Murphy said. “We are looking at different equipment that’s available to protect property from flooding other than sandbags. There are a number of products out there that may be more efficient, and if this is going to be a more regular event in the years to come, it may be something we want to consider.”
A comprehensive report on what the city plans to do is expected to be presented to council next month.
“This is a health and safety issue. It’s not just about personal property, it’s not just about taking care of your lawn, this is about health and safety,” Harrison said. “You have an investment in your property, you have an investment in your home and your family, and you want everything to be safe and healthy.
“The province is putting money in the Clean Water Act and that just defies all logic when you think about the Clean Water Act and the amount of money that is spent in putting that in place, and now we come along and allow the water to exceed the limits and flood all of the septic systems, all the sewage systems that municipalities have and then we’re expected to supply clean water, it’s confusing,” Harrison said.
He said council has talked about climate change and what’s happening, “but you also have to look at reality and what can be done.
“The high water is a big concern and we have to keep on doing what we can do. I’ve asked MP Ellis to set up a meeting with either the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister, and I have all kinds of mayors who will go with me to that meeting, it’s just a matter of getting that meeting, and we will certainly present our case to them.”
He said a number of people from the U.S. have contacted hi regarding joining a lawsuit against the federal government.
“We’re not going that route, we’re going the political route and hopefully we get some answers soon,” Harrison said.
 

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More news from around the lake

Full article https://www.cornwallnewswatch.com/2019/12/19/risk-is-mounting-for-2020-st-lawrence-flooding-ontario-new-york-shoreline-groups-band-together/

Risk is mounting’ for 2020 St. Lawrence flooding; Ontario-New York shoreline groups band together
December 19, 2019
BROCKVILLE – With only months before a spring melt, the president of United Shoreline Ontario (USO) says her group is joining U.S. counterparts to lobby government officials to do something about high water levels on the St. Lawrence River.
During a conference call with reporters Thursday morning, Sarah Delicate says it’s very likely we will see a repeat of the flooding next year that happened in 2017 and 2019.
“We are very rapidly heading toward our third flood in four years,” Delicate said. “We are now almost 19 inches (48 centimeters) above the long term average heading into the freeze which will slow the water being released out of the dam. The risk is mounting.”
“This is not climate, this is policy. There are policy decisions that are being made by the international board that are unjustly and in a very unbalanced way transferring damage to the Lake Ontario shoreline and to the municipalities,” she said.
Delicate says the IJC’s own predictive models show there’s an 84 per cent change of a wet or very wet spring. “We could see 250 feet on Lake Ontario, which is a foot higher than what we saw in 2019. Think of the catastrophic devastation you saw around the lake in 2019 and add an extra foot,” Delicate said.
The USO president says they don’t contest that climate change brought the water but how the International Joint Commission (IJC) handles the outflow of water is the real issue.
Delicate was joined by the New York State based Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Alliance (LOSLRA) and a representative of Save our Sodus (SOS) – a group looking to protect Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario, east of Rochester, N.Y.
Water levels are being held high “for the benefit of shipping industry,” LOSLRA President Jim Shea said.
The “Join Forces, Fight Back Campaign” will be holding seven rallies, one of which will be in Brockville. Those are planned by the second week of February 2020 at a location in Brockville to be determined.
When asked by Newswatch about the municipal representation on the International Joint Commission, USO President Delicate says the message about the damage to the Eastern Ontario shoreline is not getting through because Eastern Ontario representation on the IJC is “grossly underrepresented.” Most of the board is from Montreal and the Canadian municipal representative is from Quebec.
She maintains that Plan 2014 is “extremely unbalanced,” in favour of saving Montreal for the sake of Ontario. “We are not advocating that you should just open up the door and flood out Montreal. There has to be balance but the problem is it’s not balanced now.”
 

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News from around the lakes

It should be noted that in the article below that the reason for the decline in tonnage moving on the seaway was not because of the increased out flow through the Mosses Saunders dam, which caused a slower navigational route on the seaway this year. But instead the decrease in tonnage is due to a drop in grain exports because of a poor growing season

Full article https://ajot.com/news/st-lawrence-seaway-traffic-keeps-pace-with-five-year-average


St. Lawrence Seaway traffic keeps pace with five-year average
By: AJOT | Dec 18 2019 at 01:11 PM | Ports & Terminals
The St. Lawrence Seaway today announced that traffic is on pace with the Seaway’s five-year average. Through November, Great Lakes vessel operators moved a combined 34.04 million metric tons of cargo. Year-to-date overall tonnage is 6.4 percent behind 2018’s record-breaking season (compared to this time last year).
As the navigation season nears its end, dry bulk commodities surpassed last year’s volumes by 12.8 percent, liquid bulk by two percent and containerized cargo by 44 percent.
Craig H. Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation said, “With Seaway cargo tonnage reaching 34 million tons through November, though down slightly from this time last year, traffic is still keeping up with the five-year average. Our ports are busy as we approach the end of the navigation season, and we are seeing that cargo diversity is more important than ever.”
Top five performing cargos through November 2019 include:
Salt — 3,478,000 metric tons; 16.9%* increase
Petroleum Products — 3,095,000 metric tons; 5.6%* increase
Cement & Clinkers — 1,785,000 metric tons; 6%* increase
Coke — 1,362,000 metric tons; 17.5%* increase
Gypsum — 581,000 metric tons; 38.1%* increase
*Compared to 2018 tonnage. Percentages rounded to nearest tenth.
The Port of Toledo is just one example of an American Great Lakes port optimizing activity with robust cargo diversification. Through November, the Port handled over 8.6 million tons of cargo on nearly 500 vessel transits. Despite seeing a decline in grain shipments, Joe Cappel, VP Business Development, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, noted gains in general cargo, iron ore and petroleum products for the Port.
“We knew in the spring with all the rain and flooding that fall grain exports would be down — and they are by nearly fifty percent. The Port of Toledo, however, is very resilient, and we’ve seen gains in other cargo categories that have offset the grain numbers,” said Cappel. “Our thoughts are with all the farmers and we are hoping that 2020 will be a much better year for them and that the Port of Toledo will be firing on all cylinders.”
Port Milwaukee saw multiple international imports during November, contributing to the Port’s 24 percent increase in overall tonnage compared to last season.
Adam Schlicht, Director, Port Milwaukee, shared that overall steel imports are eight percent over the Port’s 2018 season. Shipments accounting for the increase include steel coils from Germany, Belgium and Netherlands, stainless steel plates and steel rails from Belgium, and flats from the United Kingdom.
Port Milwaukee also received a shipment of salt from Egypt, adding to the Port’s strong season —particularly in handling dry bulk shipments across multiple commodity categories.
Schlicht noted that “Shipments of salt and limestone, handled by Milwaukee Bulk Terminals and others, as well as cement, handled by LaFarge and others, have seen double-digit increases when compared to tonnage amounts through December 2018.”
Port Activity: The Port of Duluth-Superior
The Port of Duluth-Superior finished November ahead of their five-season average and remained on pace to top 35 million tons for the third consecutive season, with grain tonnage finishing the month more than 16 percent ahead of this time last season and 10 percent over the five-season average.
General cargo tonnage, including the final wind energy cargo shipments of 2019 and multiple industrial project cargo shipments, also contributed to a healthy November tonnage total in Duluth. In total, general cargo tonnage for November exceeded the Port’s five-season average by 11 percent.
Seaway Receives Cargos from Fourteen Countries in November
In November, the Seaway saw an international mix of inbound shipments from Canada, Africa, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Brazil, Norway, Ukraine, Egypt and Turkey. A few particularly noteworthy shipments in November included a shipment of ferromanganese and silicomanganese from Norway into the Port of Chicago, a shipment of slag from South Africa into the Port of Ashtabula, and a shipment of salt from Egypt into the Port of Green Bay.
 

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Not the direction we want to see the lake level go,, it’s up 1.5 inches from the last reading. The only positive item to report, is that the IJC increased the out flow from the Moses Saunders Dam to 8,860 cubic meters per second from the 8,820 it was at last week. The IJC’s numbers are posted on the bottom


Friday December 20th, the average level is at 75.07 M (246.29 Feet)

Per Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Since 2009, the December lake level average has been 74.53 M ( 244.52 Feet )
The average lake level for December 2017 was 74.77 M ( 245.30 Feet )
Surface water temperature by the lift bridge is 5.5 C / 42 F


Reading date / Lake Average 2019
Dec 06 – 75.03
Nov 22 – 75.05
Nov 08 – 75.105
Oct 25 – 75.03
Oct 11 – 75.11
Sept 20 – 75.28
Sept 06 – 75.386
Aug 23 – 75.51
Aug 16 – 75.585
Aug 09 – 75.65
Aug 02 – 75.72
July 26 – 75.78
July 19 - 75.85
July 11 - 75.89
July 05 - 75.93
June 28 - 75.95
June 21 - 75.95
June 14 – 75.984
June 07 – 75.97
May 30 - 75.94
May 24 - 75.86
May 17 - 75.795
May 03 - 75.51
Apr 29 - 75.41
Apr 12 - 75.10
Mar 29 - 75.018
Mar 15 - 75.0
Mar 08 - 74.97
Feb 22 - 75.00
Feb 08 - 74.96
Jan 25 - 74.88
Jan 11 - 74.81
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Reading date / Lake Average 2018
Dec 28 – 74.78
Dec 14 – 74.72
Nov 30 – 74.696
Nov 16 – 74.68
Nov 02 – 74.67
Oct 19 – 74.614
Oct 05 – 74.72
Sept 21 – 74.785
Sept 07 – 74.86
Aug 24 – 74.91
Aug 10 – 74.98
Jul 30 – 75.12
Jul 13 – 75.129
Jun 29 – 75.228
Jun 15 – 75.25
Jun 01 – 75.33
May 18 – 75.35
May 04 – 75.23
Apr 20 – 75.08
Apr 06 – 74.97
Mar 23 – 74.918
Mar 09 – 74.99
Feb 23 – 74.973
Feb 09 – 74.90
Jan 26 – 74.95
Jan 12 – 74.81 M
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Reading date / Lake Average 2017
Dec 27 – 74.71 M
Dec 08 – 74.795
Nov 24 – 74.89
Nov 09 – 74.929
Oct 27 – 74.83
Oct 10 – 74.95
Sept 29 – 74.99
Sept 15 – 75.12
Sept 01 – 75.28
Aug 18 - 75.47
Aug 04 - 75.6
July 22 - 75.71

And courtesy of the IJC,, their numbers

International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board
Conseil international du lac Ontario et du fleuve Saint-Laurent
The average Lake Ontario outflow is expected to be 8,860 m³/s for the coming week. This flow rate is 200 m³/s above the normal safe navigation flow limit that applies at the current Lake Ontario elevation as defined by the regulation plan. Actual outflows will depend on conditions in the St. Lawrence River.
Week Ending: Average this time
Wed, 18 Dec 2019 of the year (c)
Lake Ontario / Lac Ontario
Actual end of week level: 75.01 (246.10) 74.53 (244.52)
Computed Plan 2014 Level (a): 75.11 (246.42)
Computed Preproject Level (b): 75.78 (248.62)
Weekly Mean Outflow: 8820 (311500) 7220 (255000)
Weekly Total Supply: 10090 (356300) 7310 (258100)
Lake St. Lawrence at Long Sault Dam 72.99 (239.47) 73.02 (239.57)
Weekly Mean Level:
Lake St. Louis at Pointe-Claire Weekly 21.68 (71.13) 21.24 (69.69)
Mean Level:
Montreal Harbour at Jetty #1 Weekly Mean 6.75 (22.15) 6.49 (21.29)
Level:
Ottawa River at Carillon Weekly Mean 1850 (65300) 1990 (70300)
Outflow:
Preliminary Lake Ontario Outflow for Week 8860 (312900) 6800 (240100)
Ending Fri, 27 Dec 2019:
Levels are in metres (feet) IGLD 1985. Supply and flows are in cubic metres (feet) per second m³/s (ft³/s).
(a) Levels that would have occurred with strict adherence to Plan 2014.
(b) Levels that would have occurred had there been no Lake Ontario regulation.
(c) For comparison purposes, Lake Ontario water level data since 1918 are used to be consistent with those published in the US and Canadian Great Lakes bulletins (http://www.waterlevels.gc.ca/C&A/bulletin-eng.html). Other averages are for the periods as follows: Lake Ontario outflows and levels at Long Sault and Pointe-Claire since 1960; Montreal since 1967; and Ottawa River outflow at Carillon since 1963.
The regulation plan for Lake Ontario specifies a weekly average outflow from Saturday through the following Friday, inclusive. To provide timely information for the coming week to the hydropower and Seaway operators, and our readers, we complete the regulation plan calculations each Thursday. Our calculations use the data available at the time, which are from the previous seven days (Thursday through Wednesday). Since the two time periods do not exactly coincide, their data are usually slightly different.
The table shows the actual flow for the week ending Wednesday. It also gives the preliminary flow for the coming week ending Friday. We emphasize that this is the preliminary flow, since unforeseen flow changes may occur after we have issued our notice. When these flow changes occur, they are reflected in the subsequent week's notice.
Information in this report is compiled from provisional data provided by: Environment & Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Hydro Quebec, Ontario Power Generation Inc, the New York Power Authority, and the U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration.
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Visit the Board's website at https://ijc.org/en/loslrb to find out more.
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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Not the direction we want to see the lake level go,, it’s up 1.5 inches from the last reading. The only positive item to report, is that the IJC increased the out flow from the Moses Saunders Dam to 8,860 cubic meters per second from the 8,820 it was at last week. The IJC’s numbers are posted on the bottom


Friday December 20th, the average level is at 75.07 M (246.29 Feet)



Feb 08 - 74.96
Jan 25 - 74.88
Jan 11 - 74.81
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Reading date / Lake Average 2018
Dec 28 – 74.78
Dec 14 – 74.72
If we check last year, that is the direction, we started to travel back up again. So not a good sign of things to come.
 
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Opie

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Mar 1, 2017
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https://www.northcountrypublicradio...223/water-flows-reduced-at-moses-saunders-dam

Water flows reduced at Moses-Saunders dam
The international organization that manages water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River says it's reducing outflows because of ice...

Dec 23, 2019


Dec 23, 2019 — The international organization that manages water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River says it's reducing outflows because of ice formation. The goal is to reduce the risk of ice jams on the river.
According to a statement, the flow at the Moses Saunders dam in Massena was cut back on Friday to "reduce stress on the ice cover downstream."
The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board acknowledged that Lake Ontario's water levels remain high.
The group said outflows will remain "as high as feasible" through the winter. Flooding last year and in 2017 caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in New York and Canada.
 
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