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GLIN==> St. Lawrence river outflows



Posted on behalf of John Kangas <john.w.kangas@usace.army.mil>

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St. Lawrence river outflows
www.islrbc.org
International St. Lawrence River Board of Control

MEDIA RELEASE

November 15, 2002

Precipitation was generally near average in October for the Lakes Ontario,
Michigan and Huron basins.  Lake Erie's basin received about 69% of its
average October precipitation.  The net total water supplies to these basins
(the net effect of over-lake precipitation, inflow from the upper Great
Lake, basin runoff, and evaporation from the lake) was below average in
October for all of these lakes.  Last month, the water supplies to Lakes
Michigan-Huron were close to a record minimum.  As a result, all of these
lakes experienced larger than average drops in water levels in October.
Water supply to Lake Superior last month was slightly above average.
Downstream, Montreal Harbour levels set a new record low for the month of
October for the period of record 1967 to the present.

On 12 November, Lake Ontario was at elevation 74.38 m (244.03 feet), which
was 17 cm (7 inches) below the average for this time of the year, and 9 cm
(4 inches) below the level of one year ago.  The water levels in Lake St.
Louis and Montreal Harbour were about 20.70 m (67.91 feet) and 5.43 m (17.81
feet), respectively.  These were 52 cm (20 inches) and 110 cm (43 inches)
below average and 11 cm (4 inches) and 33 cm (13 inches) below their levels
last year at this time.

The Board discussed these and other conditions in a teleconference on 13
November and decided to continue the outflow regulation strategy announced
on October 15.  That is:

Outflows will be generally as determined by Plan 1958D. A maximum weekly
over-discharge of 300 m3/s (10 600 cfs) and no more than 600 m3/s/day (21
200 cfs/day) above plan will be released as required for the following
purposes:

 Ensure Montreal Harbour is at least chart datum when required by deep
draft ship arrivals and departures, when possible within the above
limitations.

 Maintain at least 20.6 m (67.58 feet) on Lake St. Louis.

 Ensure outflow increases to meet critical hydropower needs.

The outflow increases for the purposes mentioned above may use the
equivalent of a maximum of 8 cm of water from Lake Ontario relative to Plan
1958-D.  The strategy also allows for less than Plan 1958-D specified
outflows if downstream conditions are favourable to do so.  The strategy
will be reviewed should accumulated over-discharges reach 5 cm below Plan
level, but in any event no later than early December.  As of November 8, the
accumulated over-discharges were at 2.8 cm (1.1 inch), which is the amount
of water taken off Lake Ontario due to actual Lake Ontario outflows up to
that day more than the amounts specified by the regulation plan.

The Board continues to closely monitor the conditions on Lake Ontario-St.
Lawrence River System and will intervene as required.

The International Joint Commission was created under the Boundary Waters
Treaty of 1909 to help prevent and resolve disputes over the use of waters
along the Canada-United States boundary.  Its responsibilities include
approving certain projects that would change water levels on the other side
of the boundary, such as the international hydropower project at Massena,
New York and Cornwall, Ontario.  When it approves a project, the
Commission's Orders of Approval may require that flows through the project
meet certain conditions to protect interests in both countries.  For more
information, visit the Commission's website at www.ijc.org

The International St. Lawrence River Board of Control was established by the
International Joint Commission, mainly to ensure that outflows from Lake
Ontario meet the requirements of the Commission's Orders of Approval.  For
more information, visit the Board's website at www.islrbc.org.


Contacts:
John Kangas, Chicago, Illinois              (312) 353-4333
Reg Golding, Ottawa, Ontario               (613) 998-1408


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