Call to Action – ALMS writes another letter to the Premier and Minister of MIT – Your help needed

Today ALMS has again written our Provincial Leaders. A copy of the letter is below. Both our emergency resolution and previous letters have gone unanswered. The general public are encouraged to ask the same questions of their elected representatives… 1)why no action or a response? 2)Why do petitions of three Rural Municipalities and an elected Association go unanswered and ignored? 3) Why is the Province not taking action now on the Fairford to minimize a repeat of 2011? Concerned individuals are asked to contact both their MLA and MP – forward this letter and express your own concerns. Note: Email addresse for the Premier is premier@leg.gov.mb.ca Email for the Minister of MIT is minmit@leg.gov.mb.ca Our letter is below: December 29, 2014 Dear Minister Kostyshyn and Premier Selinger The Association of Lake Manitoba Stakeholders (ALMS) would like to take this opportunity to welcome Minister Kostyshyn to his new portfolio. As the new Minister of MIT I would like to draw to your attention the ALMS’s email of December 18th 2014 where we asked why the Fairford control structure has not been returned to full discharge as per MIT’s press release of November 5th, 2014. ALMS is still waiting for an answer from your Government regarding this. In November, ALMS passed an emergency resolution regarding the operation of the Fairford control structure and forwarded it to your offices. We are still waiting for a response. ALMS had a meeting scheduled with the former Minister and the Premier in September that was cancelled by the former Minister and we are still waiting for this to be rescheduled. The livelihood, property values and safety of farmers, ranchers, homeowners living around Lake Manitoba is at stake, and without immediate action by your Government to prevent another flood (the fourth one in five years), the citizens of Manitoba will be faced with another disaster and the related costs. A waiting your response Donald Clarkson Acting President Association of Lake Manitoba Stakeholders (ALMS)

WInnipeg Sun Article on ALMS concerns of repeat of 2011

The Winnipeg Sun interviewed Acting ALMS President Don Clarkson yesterday.

In the interview Don highlighted that ALMS requests for the Fairford to be returned to full draining capacity have gone unanswered despite promises by the Province otherwise.

Don mentioned ALMS deep concern that currently Lake Manitoba is sitting at a level higher than it was in the spring of 2011 before the infamous Flood of 2011 and therefore the urgent need to return Fairford to full draining capacity.

Despite petitions from ALMS as well as the Rural Municipalities of St. Laurent, Cartier, and Portage la Prairie, to return the Fairford to full draining capacity, the province has not responded.

ALMS repeated requests for a response from Premier as well as former Minister Ashton prior to his resignation have gone unanswered.

The article can be read by clicking here

Flood update: December 28, 2014

On November 6th MIT reduced flows on the Fairford River to prevent the formation of frazil ice on the Dauphin River. Under their Winter Operations Policy, Fairford flows were to be reduced for a period of six weeks. It has now been 7.5 weeks and Fairford flows have not been restored to previous levels. The current flow through Fairford is about 9800 cfs.

To state that the level of Lake Manitoba is inching downward would be overstating the case: the level of the lake fell 3/100ths of a foot over the last week, or about one third of an inch. Until Fairford flows return to their maximum, the level of Lake Manitoba will not change substantially. Given that the level of the lake remains just under flood level, we are poised for renewed flooding next May.

Last year, the lake fell very little between January 1, when it sat at 812.19 feet, and April 1, when it sat at 811.88 feet. At the current rate of decline, we are poised to repeat last year’s performance.

With the current outflow through Fairford, Lake Manitoba will fall to somewhere between 813.0 and 813.1 feet by April 1, 2015, or about 4/10ths of a foot below its current level. If Fairford flows were restored to maximum levels tomorrow, the lake would fall 7/10ths to 8/10ths of a foot from its current level to somewhere between 812.7 and 812.8 feet on April 1. Even in the best case, Lake Manitoba will still be dangerously high at ice-out.

Flows on the Assiniboine remain high for this time of year, registering 5,500 cfs.

There is no current water level data for Lake St. Martin: the gauge has been offline this last week. The Waterhen gauge also continues to provide unreliable readings.

River update
Time: 9:00 AM Dec 28
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 5,507 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: 74 cfs
Fairford: 9,796 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 9:00 AM Dec 28
Steep Rock: 813.56 ft
Westbourne: 813.37 ft
Mean level: 813.47 ft
Lake St. Martin: no data

ALMS asks Premier why commitment to reopen Fairford not followed

On December 18th ALMS sent the following letter to the Premier and Minister Ashton:

Dear Premier Selinger and Minister Ashton;

Today marks the six weeks since flows were reduced on the Fairford Control Structure and according to the news release flows were to be returned to full discharge after six weeks.

With Lake Manitoba very close to flood level and the high flows on the Waterhen River it is now time to return Fairford to full discharge and lower Lake Manitoba as much as possible over the winter. Failure to reduce levels on Lake Manitoba will result in a flood next year for the fourth time in the last five years. Your governments long term miss-management of Lake Manitoba levels has directly resulted in these issues.

In November the executive of the Association of Lake Manitoba Stake Holders passed an emergency resolution regarding the operation of the Fairford Control Structure. This resolution was forwarded to your offices, we are still waiting for your response.

Awaiting your response.

Regards
Donald Clarkson
President Association of Lake Manitoba Stake Holders (ALMS)

Flood update: December 21

On November 6th MIT reduced flows on the Fairford River to prevent the formation of frazil ice on the Dauphin River. Under their Winter Operations Policy, Fairford flows were to be reduced for a period of six weeks. The six-week anniversary came and went last Thursday (Dec 18th) without Fairford flows being restored to previous levels.

Until Fairford flows return to their maximum, the level of Lake Manitoba will not change substantially. Given that the level of the lake remains just under flood level, we are poised for renewed flooding next May.

The level of Lake Manitoba is currently sitting at 813.50 feet, meaning that the lake has fallen just 3/100ths of a foot in the last week. The lake is sitting about 1.25 feet above its level this time last year, which does not bode well for next spring. Time is running out to get the level of the lake down before the spring freshet.

Flows on the Assiniboine remain remarkably high for this time of year, registering over 6000 cfs. This is nearly 10 times higher than the normal flow for December. Obviously, there is still a lot of water in the system, which also does not bode well for next spring.

There is no current water level data for Lake St. Martin: the gauge has been offline this last week. The Waterhen gauge also continues to provide unreliable readings.

River update
Time: 9:00 AM Dec 21
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 6,142 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: no data
Fairford: 9,902 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 9:00 AM Dec 21
Steep Rock: 813.60 ft
Westbourne: 813.39 ft
Mean level: 813.50 ft
Lake St. Martin: no data

Flood update: December14

The level of Lake Manitoba is currently sitting at 813.53 feet, meaning that the lake has fallen 3/100ths of a foot in the last week. That is the rough equivalent of a 2500 cfs outflow from the lake. The Waterhen gauge continues to provide unreliable readings, but based on how quickly (or slowly) Lake Manitoba is falling, its flow rate appears to be roughly 7500 cfs right now.

Lake St. Martin continues to rise (latest reading 801.88 feet), but the gauge has been offline since Dec 12.

According to the announced MIT Fairford Winter operations policy, flows at Fairford should rise to above 12,000 cfs in the next week. If they follow through on this as promised, then outflow from Lake Manitoba should double to about 5000 cfs, which is sufficient to drop the lake 3 inches a month, or 0.06 feet per week.

River update
Time: 8:00 AM Dec 14
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 6,248 cfs
Waterhen: gauge ice affected
Whitemud: 76 cfs
Fairford: 10,131 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 8:00 AM Dec 14
Steep Rock: 813.62 ft
Westbourne: 813.44 ft
Mean level: 813.53 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.88 ft (12 December)