Save The River applauds the Watertown Daily Times (WDT) for this editorial about water levels showing consistent and continued support of Plan 2014. The International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Adaptive Management (GLAM) committee is now reviewing Plan 2014 in an accelerated process, looking for any way to help alleviate the extreme high waters caused by years of record precipitation.
Save The River sent the following letter to the editor to WDT thanking them for their support:
Thank you very much for your May 6 editorial, “Less of a problem: Water levels likely won’t be as high this year along shoreline.” As you correctly state, “It’s apparent that Plan 2014, the water-management policy adopted by the IJC several years ago, did not cause the high water levels along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in 2017 and 2019. Precipitation throughout the Great Lakes basin was excessive in those years, and much of that water ended up here. This was not the case in 2018, so the water levels were not as problematic. It’s too early to determine if flooding will affect shoreline residents in the near future and to what extent. But the good news is that the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board has been able to increase outflows and continue lowering water levels.”
The International Joint Commission (IJC) has instructed its Great Lakes Adaptive Management Committee (GLAM) to accelerate their review of any possible Plan 2014 modifications that could help to lessen the impact of future excessive precipitation, which has been so damaging to riparians and shoreline businesses along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. This review offers the best opportunity to find any methods to lower the extreme high water levels caused by the record precipitation.
We are still several weeks away from the traditional mid-June high water date on the Upper St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Shoreline owners should make preparations for a high water year, bearing in mind that wind driven events can push water levels much higher for a short duration. Let’s continue to hope for a drier spring in the GreatLlakes and Ottawa River basin, and the opportunity for a normal boating season as we all cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.