Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lake Level Management Presentation UPDATED

Update: Here are some links for Madison climate that I also posted in the comments.

Madison precipitation history

Madison climate

Original post:

Just came across this interesting presentation about lake levels by Kevin Connors at Dane County Land & Water Resources Department.

Lake Level Management on the Yahara Chain of Lakes (7.3 MB PDF)

Go here for more lake level data.

And here for current and historical levels Lake Level Search Page.Lake Monona is currently about 1.8' lower than last year on the same date.


  1. Very true, but if we dig a little deeper, we see that we're at the exact same level that we were at back in the beginning of June, 2008:

    2008-06-05 845.45
    2009-06-08 845.53

    It was the rain storm in early/mid June that pushed our water levels from that point up to 847.86, or almost 2.5' above where we are now. I haven't been here long enough to know if that event was an anomaly, but the fact that we're only 1 rainstorm away from the major flooding that we had last year isn't exactly comforting...

  2. Goo digging. Yes, by historical records that huge storm around June 7, 2008 was an anomaly. And we had also had 100+ inches of snow the prior winter and an extremely rainy August 2007.

    One assumes the ground can absorb more water now than last year. How much more I don't know.

    Precipitation Stats.
    August 2007 –June 2008
    52.62 inches
    Normal: 28.89 inches
    August 2007: 15.14 inches
    June 2008: 10.93 inches

    I know I posted something about weather/climate history in the Madison area, but dang if I can find it now.

  3. Here is one link:

    Around 2000 they switched to a 'climate year' from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. We are above the 1971-2000 average, but nearly as much as 2008.

  4. The council did vote to lower the lake level, right?

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Oops, my extra thumb got in the way and I posted an air ball. Here's what I meant to say:

    "The council did vote to lower the lake level, right?"

    Yes, the council did, but the lake didn't get the message because it is now 0.17' higher than on June 1! This is an outrage!! (he said sardonically.)

    My point in all this is that, yes, we should let the county know that we are very concerned about lake levels, but the main cause of higher lake levels is not county management, but the large amounts of precip and the increasing impervious surface in the watershed.

  7. So why do we keep adding curb and gutter to monona streets and increasing run-off?

  8. "So why do we keep adding curb and gutter to monona streets and increasing run-off?"

    To quibble a bit, we are not adding curb and gutter - or not much. Nearly all of our streets already have concrete curb and gutter and the rest of the ersatz asphalt curbs.

    The interesting question is whether it makes sense to keep rebuilding them when we do streets. If you have info or just ideas about how we could do it better, please relate them to the Public Works Committee or to me or both. Do you know of examples where a city has changed their practice?

    Curb and gutter is an accepted standard engineering practice of long-standing. It is hard to get people to even think about different ways of doing that kind of thing.

    Interesting thought.