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Seneca Lake Level Update

12/01/2021 3:32 PM | Kaitlin Fello

by Rich Adams

After seeing the lake level peak out at nearly 448’ ( level not seen in last 28 years), due to the late October torrential rain events, it is finally steadily falling towards winter levels prescribed by the NY State Canal Corporation. As of the publishing of this message, the lake level was just below 446.5’. Below is a current snap shot of the lake level monitor at Geneva.

Facilitating the lake level drawdown, Gravity Renewables, the hydro-electric facility owner on the Seneca Cayuga Canal, has opened all of its possible gates since the storms, passing maximum flows through the canal. Communications between Gravity and Pure Waters have been on going, and Gravity expects to keep all gates open until the end of the year. Below is a diagram showing the multiple release points at the hydro facility, and also a snapshot of the continuing high flows being releases through the canal at Seneca Falls.

At Keuka Lake, flows discharged into the Keuka Outlet are also being controlled now, as the lake levels there recede.

As can be seen from this current diagram of Seneca Lake levels, superimposed on our Rule Curve, lake levels are projected to approach desired winter levels by the end of the year, assuming the weather cooperates and current flow will management practices are observed.

Pure Waters will continue to monitor the levels and flow regimes throughout this trying time for lake residents. While we are not accustomed to seeing water levels at the “minor flood” levels lasting for so many weeks, we can at least be reassured that all involved entities are doing their best to get back to normal.

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