Diversion Update

Time: 8:00 AM, July 31
Portage Diversion: 6,707 cfs
Lower Assiniboine: 14,155
Waterhen: 9,531 cfs
Whitemud: 953 cfs
Fairford: 14,579 cfs

Lake Manitoba Update
Time: 8:00 AM, July 31
Steep Rock: 814.55 ft
Westbourne: 814.63 ft
Mean level: 814.59 ft


Latest Diversion And Lake Manitoba Information

Time: 8:00 AM, July 30
Portage Diversion: 7,060 cfs(unnatural flow into Lake Manitoba)
Assiniboine River below Portage: 14,623 cfs(going to Winnipeg)
Waterhen: 9,531 cfs(natural flow into Lake Manitoba)
Whitemud: 978 cfs
Fairford: 14,720 cfs(natural flow into Lake Manitoba)
Net Water In: 17,569 cfs
Net Water Out: 14,720 cfs
Net Rate of increase: 2,849 cfs

Lake Manitoba level Update
Steep Rock: 814.57 ft
Westbourne: 814.60 ft
Mean level: 814.58 ft

Political leaders discuss timeline for outlet

Interesting banter between the Tories and the NDP about getting an outlet for Lake Manitoba built sooner in the Winnipeg Free Press today. Brian Pallister maintains it could be done in 3 years and see urgency to avoid future suffering and financial impact. Steve Ashton maintains it will take 7 years.

click here to see the article.

Brandon Resident questions flooding of Lake Manitobans

In the Brandon Sun last week the following Letter was published. I contacted the author and was able to obtain permission to reprint her letter.

Letter to the Editor Brandon Sun

How could our provincial government once again decide to flood Lake Manitoba? People there are exhausted, stressed, and feeling betrayed. As water from the Portage Diversion pours into Lake Manitoba these folks wonder how this can be happening again. Despite determined efforts, many of those families have not yet recovered financially or emotionally from the horror of the 2011 decision to sacrifice them and what was once a great provincial lake.

The Portage Diversion was never built with the purpose of flooding Lake Manitoba. Using the Portage Diversion twice within three years is unconscionable. Sacrificing one area, again, to prevent potential difficulties for another appears contrary to the basic tenets of an egalitarian society. And, investing human and financial resources immediately to protect the second area and not constructing a second outlet for Lake Manitoba between 2011 and 2014 begs the issue of ethical decision-making.

It seems a simple mathematical equation…. what goes in must go somewhere. If one overloads the capacity it will cause harm somewhere.

Why am I appalled by these actions and non-actions? Let us compare Brandon’s flooding with that around Lake Manitoba:

The 2011 and 2014 Brandon floods have produced hardship for people and businesses. However, both floods were caused primarily by Mother Nature. The flooding of Lake Manitoba was a conscious decision made by government we elected.

Second, the City of Brandon was able to predict the potential impact of the 2011 flood and, more importantly, took preventive measures to the best of its public resources. Once the 2011 emergency was over, the City continued to invest dollars in flood prevention planning and infrastructure. These measures were taken by the local government on behalf of its residents.

Lake Manitoba residents never guessed the Province would decide to push water through the Portage Diversion far beyond its capacity. How could they prepare? When the water came, who helped them? The military was in close proximity but their orders did not include deployment to help at Lake Manitoba. Lake Manitoba residents were abandoned. They fought alone. They garnered the physical, human and financial resources they had in 2011 and again in 2014. Following 2011 they invested their own personal resources in an attempt to construct barriers. Of course, they had to first recover, move and rebuild…. with minimal compensation.

One likes to think that Manitobans can still expect to live in an egalitarian society. Of course there are examples where this expectation may be beyond the power of current governing bodies. The decision to use the Portage Diversion way beyond its intended capacity, TWICE, does not even have the illusion of treating people equally. Mother Nature is one thing, but intentional actions by our government? Not.

Alison McNeill-Hordern

Diversion Update and explanation of what “cfs” really means

Fun(not so much) Facts:
A number of people come here each day to see the stats on whats happening on Lake Manitoba. We use `cfs`to describe Cubic Feet per Second – But really, what does that mean in common day language? So today, before giving the current stats for the Lake, I`d thought I`d share a little info on what 1 cfs means.
To visualize what 1 cfs per day is:
  • Imagine 150 garden hoses all spraying at the same time.
  • Or better yet 1 cfs in a day is enough water to fill the football field of the new Winnipeg Blue Bombers with almost 2 feet of water.
  • Now multiply that times 11,649 football fields … and thats how much water the Portage Diversion  is pouring into Lake Manitoba JUST Today.

Now thats ALOT of water.

Water Flow Stats for Today: Time: 8:30 AM, July 27
Inflow from Portage Diversion: 11,649 cfs(human made)
Lower Assiniboine(between Portage and Winnipeg): 14,500 cfs(natural, with a removal of 11,649 cfs courtesy of the Portage Diversion)
Inflow from Waterhen: 10,308 cfs(mother nature)
Inflow from Whitemud: 1,059 cfs(mother nature)
Outflow at Fairford: 14,226 cfs(mother nature and some help from humans in 1890 and 1961)
Total Inflows into Lake Manitoba:23,016 cfs
Total Outflows out of Lake Manitoba: 14,226 cfs
Total amount lake is growing: 8,790 cfs of which 11,649 cfs is human made (ie. from Diversion)
Lake Manitoba Level: Time: 8:30 AM, July 27
Steep Rock:  814.47 ft
Westbourne: 815.06 ft
Mean level: 814.77 ft
Feet above operating range: 2.77 ft
Feet above ALMS recommend max range: 3.27 ft
Lake Manitoba level if the Diversion was not operated : 812.27 ft


Detailed Diversion Update and some not so fun facts

A number of people have been asking for some detailed numbers, so for this update, am providing a number of key numbers beyond the typical update:

Portage Diversion
is running at 15,708 cfs, adding approximately .32 inches/day to Lake Manitoba
Lower Assiniboine is running at 15,217 cfs

Lake Manitoba Levels:
Steep Rock: 814.53 ft
Westbourne: 814.47 ft
Mean Level: 814.5 ft

Estimated Level of Lake Manitoba without operation of the Diversion: 812.0 ft
Feet Lake Manitoba is above maximum ALMS request operating Range: 2.5 feet

Some Fun and Interesting Facts often misunderstood:
Fairford Dam was original built in 1890′s to provide safe water control of Lake Manitoba. It was rebuilt in 1961.

The Fairford Dam was NEVER re-engineered to increase its capacity in light of the Diversion.

The Assiniboine Diversion was built in 1970.

Last time the Assiniboine naturally flowed into Lake Manitoba: Approximately 2,000 years ago. 

Number of Lake Manitoba Residents who were informed the Diversion would be used to flood Lake Manitoba when it was constructed: 0

Number of Recommendations by ALMS presented to the Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin Regulatory Commission which have been adopted by the Province: 0