Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2016 Bagnell Dam Operations Summary

Friday, January 06, 2017

Multi-Year Level and Flow Averages

Here are the graphs for average lake levels, Osage River levels, and flow rates since 2010. As we can see, 2015 was an exceptional year for lake levels due to flooding.  Keep in mind, these are averages for the entire year as numbers for the summer months would be almost identical from year to year since Ameren does a pretty good job of keeping the lake at full pool (659-660ft) from May 31 through September 1st.

Next, for the Osage River as measured about a mile below the dam, again per annum.

Finally, the average flow rate per annum. Averaging about 10,500cfs a day is considered sustainable.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

New 5 Year Moving Average Lake Level Chart (2013-2017)

Here's the average lake level chart for the past five years (averaged, 2013-2017) and will be used this year for all monthly reporting. Notice you can still see the impact of flooding in July and December (two little bumps in the graph) of 2015. Those flooding events left a scar on the data we'll be seeing for a few more years. For those wondering why the lake predominantly stays above the ideal level, simply remember the purpose of the lake, at least from Ameren's point of view, and that is to generate electricity. This is best accomplished when the lake is basically as full as it can be, maximising what is called "head height".  In Bagnell Dam's case head height averages about 100 feet throughout the year.

The five year average levels still conform nicely to the ideal guide (grey), with largest deviation coming from the draw down period in late winter early spring.  It is apparent that Ameren has no real need to strictly adhere to the lowest ideal levels for the draw down, but one of these years they're going to exercise their right and reach lower guide minimums (yellow), nearly four feet lower than the lake has seen in a long time, and shock the hell out of a lot people.

Here's the updated summary data table.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

December 2016 Lake Levels and Flow Rates

Another year comes to a close and the final monthly report for 2016.  Please forgive the slight delay in posting due to the holidays.  Here's hoping for a great 2017. But let's be honest, besting 2016 shouldn't be too hard.

Levels started in sync with the 5 year moving average until mid-month when it appears Ameren decided on getting an early start to the winter draw down, dropping the lake nearly a foot below the average for this time of year. The upward spike in the moving average (grey line) around Christmas is due to last years flooding skewing the numbers.  This anomaly is something we'll see for another four years in the data, barring a record low during that same period in the coming years to offset it.

Hopefully, I'll get all of that fun end of year statistics done and posted by the end of the week!