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unregulated opening in the Cut River Dam that is open for flow year-round.The following link contains an analysis of the USGS Lake Level Data between June 15 The chart on the first page of the above link summarizes the time-weighted amount the lake level was either above or below the legal level for each year since 2007.With the exception of just a handful of days in many, but not all, of these years, the dam has remained closed – except for the 4.75 ft. In 2009, 20 the dam was never opened during the June 15 period.In spite of the County’s best efforts to maintain the lake as close as possible to legal lake level, the 4.75 ft.Please review the footnotes at the bottom of the Lake Level Attrition Chart.
All of the lake level data used to create the series of charts in the list, below, came from the USGS website.
Notice in the earlier years the dam was opened to commence the 6 inch winter drawdown as early as Sept 5 which is inconsistent with the 1982 Court Order, posted elsewhere on this website, which stipulates that the lowering of the lake level for the annual winter drawdown is to commence “…on or about November 1 of each year…” (note: the Court Order for the 5 year trial 9 inch winter drawdown, starting in the 2009CY and expiring after the 2013CY, permitted the winter drawdown to begin as early as Sept 15).
In the summer of 2014, with the expiration of the trial 9 inch winter drawdown, the County Commissioners requested the Assistant Prosecutor’s interpretation of the language of the 19 Court Orders as to when the drawdown may begin.
The second chart, “USGS Average Gauge Height – 1978 to Date”, shows the average yearly gauge height of the lake for the period from 1978 to date.
This chart also has a straight trend line, black in color, calculated by MS Excel, showing the trend in the yearly average lake levels over time (again, decreasing).
The longer the study period, the more relevant and useful the data will become.