The HRBRRD released this message to the SPC, GSLA, and the Town of Day Property Owner’s Association.
“The Great Sacandaga Lake worked as designed last week during unprecedented heavy rainfall and inflow, protecting downstream communities from flooding damage. The storage the reservoir provided has resulted in elevated levels on the reservoir, though it did not reach flood stage nor spill as predicted by the National Weather Service. The reservoir has crested, with a current elevation of approximately 770 feet, or 1 foot below the spillway elevation of 771 feet. With downstream Hudson River flows abating, the Regulating District has commenced operation of Dow valves at the Conklingville Dam. It is anticipated that the level of the reservoir will drop approximately 2 feet during the next week, if inflow into the reservoir remains at or below current flow rates. Releases through the Dow valves, which may continue for several weeks, will be dependent on downstream flows and governed by the Regulating District’s statutory and contractual obligations.”
Message from the SPC
The lake’s level is a source of conversation and many questions about how the HRBRRD manages the water level. The SPC is pleased that the Executive Director John Callaghan, Chairman of the Board Mark Finkle and Chief Engineer Rob Foltan invited representatives of the SPC, GSLA and Town of Day Property Owners Association to participate in a conference call regarding the recent storm and the GSL.
The management of the water level is controlled by the 2002 Settlement Agreement (SA) when the dam became federally licensed. The SA was negotiated over a 10 year period through a series of meetings that included many stakeholders, including representation from lake users and permit holders.
Points of interest from the settlement agreement were higher and more consistent target lake levels deeper into the boating season, and limits on the amount of daily water releases to provide water storage and power production. The agreement works within the original concept of the GSL as a flood control reservoir providing flood benefits for the downstream Sacandaga and Hudson River communities, but now also works toward aggressive water storage for power production.
It’s important to note that even when the lake level is above the target elevation, water releases are limited to the maximum daily releases from the 2002 Settlement Agreement. HRBRRD management does not have discretionary authority to increase water releases beyond the maximum amounts allowed by the SA even when the target elevation is exceeded.
Although the GSL was higher than normal leading up to last week’s rainfall, in the weeks prior to the event the HRBRRD had actually been releasing the maximum amount of water possible given the elevation and downstream flow within its statutory & contractual obligations.
The HRBRRD committed to releasing the maximum amount allowed under the settlement agreement. Even with maximum releases it’s unlikely the water level will return to the target elevation for snowmobile season.
Please use common sense and caution if you use the lake this fall and winter.
Winners of $10,000 Raffle
The SPC $10,000 Bet on the Lake Raffle drawing was held on 10/17.
Here are the winners!
Colleen and Heinz Schefold
Shirley and Al Pedersen
V Michael Pick
Elsa Bengal & Brenden Eygabrant
Northville Rotary Foundation
Eric Mason & Julie Lombardo
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