Ottawa River Water Levels
Press Release posted on 2018-05-01 by Ottawa River Regulating Committee
OTTAWA/GATINEAU, Tuesday May 1, 2018 — The Ottawa River Regulating Committee cautions that levels and flows on the Ottawa River between Deep River and Ottawa-Gatineau (Britannia / Lac Deschênes) continue to rise rapidly due to accelerated snowmelt and may exceed the minor flooding levels starting this Thursday in flood prone areas namely Lake Coulonge, Chats Lake and Britannia / Lac Deschênes.
River Conditions Forecast / Flooding Risk: The ongoing warm temperatures are accelerating the melt of the snowpack remaining on the central portion of the basin, which causes levels and flows to continue to increase. Rainfall is forecast on a large part of the watershed in the next few days. This may cause spring runoff to increase further into the weekend, if significant rainfall is received. The Ottawa River Regulating Committee cautions residents along the river that live in areas that are prone to flooding from Deep River down to the Britannia/Lac Deschênes area in Ottawa-Gatineau that levels may increase by another 100 to 110 cm in Lake Coulonge, 50 to 60 cm in Chats Lake, and 50 to 60 cm in Lac Deschênes by Saturday or Sunday, depending on amount of rainfall received.
Reservoir Regulation Strategy: The principal storage reservoirs in the northern part of the watershed are expected to contain the majority of the increased runoff in these areas. However, dams located in the central and southern portions of the basin are essentially “run of the river” with no significant storage capacity. As such, they cannot significantly reduce the flows and levels associated with increased spring runoff. During this critical freshet period, the Regulating Committee will take all possible actions to limit the amount of flooding and will continuously monitor conditions at all points along the river.
Further bulletins will be issued if flood risks increase.
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