A reason for hope
The waterlevels of our lake are a constant concern for our Club members. We must remember that our lake is in effect a widening of a river caused by the geographical configuration of the surrounding terrain, and that we depend exclusively on the volume of flow of the Ottawa River. This major river is controlled by several hydroelectric dams which provide important retention bassins and these control the volume of water entering our lake. Some say that these dams are over exploited causing spring floods and summer low water levels, however, they are in fact supervised to assure a constant flow while preserving the storage potential of the reserves.
According to Quebec and Ontarion government statistics, over the past 45 seasons, we have only experienced 7 instances of spring water levels high enough to cause flooding. Therefore we have but to accept the climatic conditions that have caused us to suffer 4 of these floods over the past 15 years. These flood levels have occurred over 4 year periods instead of the 6 year periods beforehand, even including 2 flood years in a row in 2008 and 2009. Let us hope that the exception proves the rule. It is possible that the next 2 years will be flood free for us.
Low water levels
Being on a river, it is normal that we suffer low water levels in the summer season because of the low flow volume of the Ottawa River. The months of August and September usually have low water levels, with severely low levels every third year since 1964, thus causing difficulties for 14 seasons. The number of extremely low water conditions affecting navigation over an extendend period was 8 during these same 45 years, which in fact is not that bad. Therefore, the occurences of low water, instead of being every 4 or 5 years as in the past, are now every 2 and 3 years, according to statistics which show 5 such occurences since 1997, this in 13 years. The worst were in 1987, when the harbour had to be dyked and filled in order to haul out the boats, and 2010, the lowest ever, which affected several of our largest boats. We must also remember that the good years were also the rainiest years when all the sailors complained about the weather. Putting the weather on our side, let us hope that 2011 and 2012 will be rainy, except on weekends.
Project to deepen and increase flow of the Rivière Milles-Îles
It seems that the famous lowering of the river bottom will not be completed in 2010. A serious September flood, after heavy rain, washed crushed stone fill, machinery and equipment downriver, with the million dollar government contract suceeding only in pollutiing the river.
http://www.cehq.gouv.qc.ca/mille-iles/etat-situation.htm;;Rapport nov. – dec. 2010##
http://www.leveil.com/Actualites/2010-10-08/article-1832760/Travaux-dans-la-riviere-des-Mille-Iles%3A-rien-ne-va-plus/1;; Rien ne va plus##
http://news.webshots.com/album/578412126qWhvRr;; photos des travaux avant le coup d’eau##
http://communiques.gouv.qc.ca/gouvqc/communiques/GPQF/Octobre2010/22/c5049.html;;nouveau plan in extremis##