Wednesday, July 01, 2015

June 2015 Lake Levels,Discharge, and Osage River Levels

June is looking like it will go into the climate books as the wettest on record and the effects on the Lake of the Ozarks can be seen in the level charts.  Despite downriver flooding pressure to minimize the release of water from Bagnell Dam, Ameren allowed full turbine flow (green line) nearly 24/7 but avoided resorting to opening flood gates (video).

A reduction in turbine flow starting on the 16th was followed by an abrupt rise in lake levels that briefly went over the 660' mark in the early hours of the 18th.  Renewed maximum turbine flow quickly reduced lake levels but overshot the average by June 20th, again prompting the reduction of turbine flow to re-raise. By month's end, levels stabilized to the five year average while turbine flow still remains high.  With July starting off as another wet month, it is likely Ameren will have to remain nimble with their hands on the valve.

Figure 1

The effect of the relentless turbine flow (whether generating power or not) on the Osage River is seen in the tailwater chart below, expectantly matching turbine flow in figure 1.  While the river remained very high, changes in levels were limited to just a few feet.

Figure 2