Is Yukon Energy Holding Back Water in Marsh Lake?

Environment, Regulatory

Sep 27, 2016  Comment

Today's question: Why are the water levels so high right now at Marsh Lake? Is Yukon Energy holding back the water?

The simple answer is no, we aren't. Yukon Energy must abide by our water license, which requires us to have all our Marsh Lake gates open by May 15th and doesn't allow us to start closing them until the water naturally drops below what is known as Full Supply Level. The image below shows what the current level is as of today (look for the solid green line). The dotted green line indicates what we expect the levels to be for the rest of this year. You can see that we won't be closing any gates until mid- to late-October, when the levels should go below the Full Supply Level of 656.234 metres above sea level.

There is another line on the graph labelled the Conceptual Full Supply Level. This relates to a potential project known as the Southern Lakes Enhanced Storage Concept. It proposes a change to our water license so we could hold back an additional 30 centimetres of water in the late fall, for use in the winter. The conceptual level shown on this graph indicates that if we moved ahead with this as a project, and received approval from the Yukon Water Board, we could start to close gates once water naturally dropped below 656.534 metres as opposed to the current 656.234 metres.

We continue to engage with Yukoners on this, and as yet no decision has been made as to whether this is a viable project.


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