The Trent Severn Waterway (TSW), our Lake Levels, and the Coalition for Equitable Water Flow (CEWF), Presentation to CCRAI June 23, 2012 By Ted Spence – CCRAI representative on CEWF firstname.lastname@example.org
A Few Facts about the TSW • Stretches from Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario • Flows west to Lake Simcoe and Southeast to Lake Ontario with the divide in the area of Kirkfieldjust west of Balsam Lake • Eastern section includes the Kawartha Lakes and the Trent River system as well as 41 reservoirs and more than 20 Flow-Through lakes (RAFT Lakes) in the so called “Haliburton Sector” • Climate change models suggest a future of more variability and earlier spring runoff, less summer rain and more evaporation.
The Reservoirs • In the “Haliburton Sector” there are 35 reservoirs - 17 in the Gull River system (Kennisis largest), 13 in the Burnt River System (Drag the Largest), and 5 in the central area including the Mississagua chain of lakes the largest single reservoir storage on the system. • Mississagua chain has 5021 ha-m of storage plus 1420 ha-m from Anstruther. • The reservoir systems are very complex to manage with flow constraints at some points and flow through lake levels to consider. • Our section one of the most straight forward.
The TSW Water Management • Their Statement Water levels and flows in the Trent-Severn watersheds are managed for public safety including mitigation of flooding; protection of the environment; fisheries; wildlife habitats; municipal water supplies; navigation; recreation and hydroelectricity generation. The Trent-Severn watersheds cover an area almost 4 times the size of Prince Edward Island with more than 120 water control structures and are managed by the staff of the Trent-Severn Waterway. The complexities of these multiple considerations require the application of integrated water management decision making by the staff of the Trent-Severn Waterway who monitor and manage water on a 24 hour basis continuously throughout the year. (TSW Website) • The reality seems to be that the Critical constraints include minimum flows at certain points (Peterborough) and canal navigationwith water levels on reservoirs well down the list of priorities. • In dry years we have a serious problem while in wet years we hope for intelligent water management on the reservoirs.
The Mississagua Dam • All new logs in 2010 • Three bays but normally only Bay 1 is used for operations. Bay 1 has 8 logs • Key reference points: • Sill plate level Bay 1 is 0.00m 0% full • Height of standard stop-log 0.305m • Height of dam with all 8 logs in place 2.44m 100% full • TSW Target level in Spring 2.44m 100% full • TSW Winter set level – 2 logs in place 0.61m 25% full • Nominal water level fluctuation 1.83m 75% of capacity • Mississagua Dam is slated for a dam safety review this year
CEWF -Who We Are We? • The Coalition is a Volunteer Organization • Formed in 2006 • Represent interests of 40,000 shoreline property owners in “Haliburton Sector” of Trent watershed with regard to water management issues • Includes “Reservoir” and “Flow-Through” (RAFT) lakes • Sub-watersheds included: • Gull, Burnt & Mississagua rivers plus Nogies, Eel’s & Jack creeks
Lake Association Members • Canning • Cavendish Rate Payers (Mississagua, Catchacoma et al) • Crystal • Drag & Spruce • Esson • Fortescue • Glamor • Gull • Halls & Hawk (Big and Little) • Horseshoe • Jack • Kashagawigamog • Kennisis • Koshlong • Kushog • Little Glamor • Loon • Maple/Beech/Cameron • Miskwabi • Moore • Mountain • Percy • Redstone • Salerno/Devil’s • South Bob • Soyers • White • ?Boshkung • ?Twelve Mile
CEWF Advisory Committee • Chris Riddle, Co-Chair- Kennisis Lake • Martin Rist, Co-Chair - Drag Lake • Roger Cunningham, Sec/Treasurer - White Lake • Ted Spence, FOCA Liaison - Catchacoma Lake • Stephen Foster - Loon Lake • Bruce McClennan - Gull Lake • Bill Cornfield - Horseshoe Lake • Carole Russell -Halls and Hawk Lakes
CEWF Mission The Coalition is seeking the implementation of an equitable water management policy for the Trent watershed that accords equal consideration, along with fair and just treatment, to everyone in the Trent River Watershed. Reservoir and Flow-Through (RAFT) lake communities should be considered equally with all other communities where policies apply to safe navigation, access to waterfront property, economic sustainability and the avoidance of negative environmental and economic impacts.
Current Focus For 2012 the Coalition has Endorsed: • Integrated Water Management at the Watershed Level • Recommendations of the Panel on the Future of the TSW • A Modern Water Management Model for the Watershed • Improved Information on System Constraints • Documenting “Preferred” RAFT Lake Water Levels • Engaging Ontario per the federal/provincial MOU • A pro-active TSW Water Management Advisory Council
CEWF is Documenting “Preferred” RAFT Lake Water Levels The Coalition is working with member associations to provide the water management agency with data relating to measurable water level and flow constraints on individual lakes. For The Mississagua Dam Steve Repath and Ted Spence from CCRAI are developing a short paper on preferred range between May 24 and Labour Day to propose to CCRAI members probably in August. Suggested preferred range (when water available) Preferred maximum of full or full less half a log, Preferred low of approximately 1 m of water in cut to McGinniss (5 logs out 3 in)
What will Success Look Like? • Respect for all stakeholders within the watershed – including the RAFT Lake Communities • New priorities that reflect what the panel told us • Including a change in the mandate of Parks Canada the the status of the TSW within the watershed. • Public safety and environmental protection given higher priority than operation of the through waterway. • Balanced budgeting of water management activities –an end to the decay of critical infrastructure.
New and Current Issues • Federal budget cuts to TSW- $3M from $16M for operations and Lack of capital funding for repairs • Possible amalgamation of TSW and Rideau Canal administration within Parks Canada(Rideau has no reservoirs), and the possible closure of TSW office in Peterborough • Proposed user fees for all canal lake residents • Lack of action on the Panel Report