Lake Manitoba update: August 30, 2015

There is little change to report since Tuesday. The level of Lake Manitoba is basically unchanged. Fairford outflows are now considerably higher than Waterhen / Whitemud inflows, so we should see the lake falling reasonably quickly when the weather stays dry. With the Emergency Channel now closed, Lake St. Martin has risen a quarter foot above its flood level. Assiniboine flows are now reaching their summer lows.

River update
Time: 6:30 PM August 30
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 2,471 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 2,319 cfs
Waterhen: 4,907 cfs
Whitemud: 131 cfs
Fairford: 9,460cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 6:30 PM August 30
Steep Rock: 812.34 ft
Westbourne: 812.37 ft
Mean level: 812.35 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.25 ft

Update to Lake Manitoba update

Now that the winds have calmed conditions are returning to normal and we can get a better idea about the current lake levels and river flows. I am posting updated numbers this morning. Lake Manitoba has dropped since last week and is now sitting at 812.34 feet. Waterhen flows are down, and Fairford flows are up since Sunday. It looks like Assiniboine flows have peaked after the rain and are now falling.

River update
Time: 9:00 AM August 25
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 2,612 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 2,295 cfs
Waterhen: 4,977 cfs
Whitemud: 131 cfs
Fairford: 7,660 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 9:00 AM August 25
Steep Rock: 812.04 ft
Westbourne: 813.63 ft
Mean level: 812.34 ft
Lake St. Martin: no data

Lake Manitoba update: August 23, 2015

The current rainstorm is having dramatic effects on all the gauge readings today. Strong winds from the northwest have raised flow on the Waterhen and pushed water from the north basin of Lake Manitoba into the south basin. As a consequence, outflow from Fairford has dropped sharply. The heavy rains this weekend will raise the level of the lake, by how much won’t be clear until the wind calms. The mean level of the lake is 812.65 feet this morning, but the reading is unreliable with the strong wind effects that cause water to slosh between the north and south basins of the lake. Inflow on the Waterhen (6,636 cfs) currently exceeds outflow at Fairford (6,001 cfs), but that is a temporary effect of the strong winds. Once the winds calm, Fairford flows will rise and Waterhen flows will fall. The Lake St. Martin gauge is offline today: yesterday’s reading was 801.21 feet, but this reading is also wind affected. Flow on the Assiniboine remains low (2,595 cfs at Holland; 2,224 at Headingly) but will rise this week as the heavy rain makes its way into the river.

River update
Time: 7:00 AM August 23
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 2,595 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 2,224 cfs
Waterhen: 6,636 cfs
Whitemud: 95 cfs
Fairford: 6,001 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 7:00 AM August 23
Steep Rock: 812.07 ft
Westbourne: 813.22 ft
Mean level: 812.65 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.21 ft (August 22 reading)

Lake Manitoba update: August 15, 2015

This week brings a bit of good news for Lake Manitobans: the lake is now back inside its traditional operating range, sitting at 812.49 feet today. That is, however, still nearly half a foot above the operating range (812.0 feet) recommended in the Lake Manitoba – Lake St. Martin Regulation Review. But it is progress. Waterhen inflows are just over 5,500 cfs; outflows at Fairford are currently 9,708 cfs. Whitemud flows remain very low at 81 cfs. The level of Lake St. Martin sits at 801.02 feet, slightly higher than last week. Assiniboine flows fell last week and are now under 2,800 cfs

River update
Time: 1:30 PM August 15
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 2,789 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 2,753 cfs
Waterhen: 5,542 cfs
Whitemud: 81 cfs
Fairford: 9,708 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 1:30 PM August 15
Steep Rock: 812.58 ft
Westbourne: 812.40 ft
Mean level: 812.49 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.02 ft (August 14 reading)

Lake Manitoba update: August 8, 2015

More heavy rains have stalled the descent of Lake Manitoba again: the lake level is essentially unchanged from last week. It is currently sitting at 812.60 feet with the north basin higher than the south basin. Southwest winds are affecting Waterhen (below average) and Fairford flows (above average) right now. Outflow at Waterhen is 5,400 cfs; at Fairford it is 11,100 cfs. The Whitemud flow remains low at 134 cfs. Assiniboine flows rose last week and have now begun falling: flow at Holland is 3,300 cfs – downstream at Headingly the flow is just under 4,000 cfs. It looks like some of the surge from the rains upstream was stored temporarily in the Portage Reservoir, dampening the increase in flow downstream. The level of the Portage Reservoir peaked on August 3rd, and is now falling. The Portage Diversion remained closed throughout.

River update
Time: 9:00 AM August 8
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 3,318 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 3,989 cfs
Waterhen: 5,401 cfs
Whitemud: 134 cfs
Fairford: 11,120 cfs
 
Lake update
Time: 9:00 AM August 8
Steep Rock: 812.72 ft
Westbourne: 812.47 ft
Mean level: 812.60 ft
Lake St. Martin: 800.95 ft (August 7 reading)

ALMS Reacts to Annoucements

To many the press conference last week was a summer rerun. The Province has made similar announcements. What is significant about this one is that the Federal Government has publicly supported the plan to dig a channel as a direct outlet from Lake Manitoba. The executive notes that the expected date for completion of the project is 2021 – previously announced as 2020, which in the words of Mr. Selinger was not fast enough. Not only is the project delayed but surprisingly the location of the channel is still unannounced. Finally the reported costs exceed those presented to ALMS representatives at a meeting with MIT a month ago.ALMS stands by its analysis and comparison of channeling vs pumping. The pumping station at Cedar Lake is more effective, can be constructed at one third the cost and completed faster.
Jack king on behalf of ALMS

Lake Manitoba update: August 2, 2015

The descent of Lake Manitoba has resumed and the lake fell over the last week. It is currently sitting at 812.61 feet. If we avoid more heavy rain, the lake should be back inside its traditional operating range (812.5 feet) in the next couple of weeks. The flow gauge on the Waterhen River is now back online and registering 5,825 cfs. This flow is still above average for this time of year, but it is falling. Outflow at Fairford is currently 8,931 cfs. This is currently affected by the wind that is moving water between the north and south basins of the lake. The north basin of Lake Manitoba is this morning much lower than the south basin, reducing outflow at Fairford: yesterday morning, outflows at Fairford were over 10,000 cfs. The Whitemud flow remains low at 95 cfs. Something interesting is going on on the Assiniboine right now. The flow at Holland has risen substantially over the last few days as the heavy rains from early in the week make their way into the river. However, the flow downstream at Headingly continues to fall. The extra water is being stored in the Portage Reservoir that is rising rapidly. The Portage Diversion remains closed (for now). Lake St. Martin rose over the last week and is back over its flood level of 801.0 feet, sitting yesterday at 801.08 feet.

River update
Time: 6:00 AM August 2
Portage Diversion: closed
Assiniboine at Holland: 3,812 cfs
Assiniboine at Headingly: 2,012 cfs
Waterhen: 5,825 cfs
Whitemud: 53 cfs
Fairford: 8,931 cfs

Lake update

Time: 6:00 AM August 2
Steep Rock: 812.34 ft
Westbourne: 812.89 ft
Mean level: 812.61 ft
Lake St. Martin: 801.08 ft (August 1 reading)