Water Levels Committee Directive on Rainy Lake Water Levels


The International Joint Commission, through the Water Levels Committee (WLC) associated with the International Rainy Lake of the Woods Watershed board, works to secure to the people of Canada and the United States the most advantageous use of the waters of Rainy Lake and the Namakan Chain of Lakes for the combined purposes of navigation, sanitation, domestic water supply, power production, recreation, and other beneficial purposes. The WLC directs the levels of said lakes to prevent, to the extent possible, the occurrence of both extremely high and extremely low water levels.

The Rainy Lake of the Woods Watershed continues to experience extreme drought conditions throughout the basin. Lake levels continue to decline throughout the season in the absence of sufficient precipitation. Recently, Rainy Lake has fallen below the drought line (337.2m). The WLC is directing a reduction in flows from the dam at International Falls-Fort Frances to 85 cms (3,000 cfs) starting Saturday, September 11. Further reductions may be made to as low as 65 cms (2,300 cfs) based on future basin conditions and forecasts.

The WLC will inform Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed stakeholders of any future decisions to change Rainy Lake outflow, and to what flow rate, should conditions change. Your feedback is welcome as the WLC continues to monitor the drought situation. Please send feedback to the Water Levels Committee Engineering Advisors Scott.A.Jutila@usace.army.mil  and mdewolfe@lwcb.ca.