MLA Flood Study Update

November 21, 2013 4:02 PM | Michael Cleverdon (Administrator)

Dear Member:

As you are aware, the MLA commissioned the engineering firm Baird & Associates to conduct a review to better understand the causes of the spring flooding and determine whether the likelihood of recurrence could be reduced. A summary of the study was sent to all members.

Since then, we have written to the Ministers of Natural Resources and Energy requesting the following:

  1. MNR produce a detailed and transparent public report on the factors that led to the 2013 spring flooding.
  2. MNR develop an integrated forecasting and flood control operational management manual for the Muskoka Lakes system – as was suggested when the current dam operation manual was created.
  3. Review the Muskoka River Water Management Plan, with specific emphasis on the requirement for structural changes or enhancements to dams and control structures that could enhance upstream storage. 

We are pleased to advise that late last week, the Township of Muskoka Lakes passed a resolution to request that the MNR undertake an impact study to understand the effects of lowering the water levels during the fall through the spring months. It also asks that the MNR report to council with an analysis of this year's spring flood as well as the current high water levels, to understand specific actions taken (and when) to reduce the amount of water across the watershed. The District of Muskoka has also approved a resolution to support the resolution passed by the Township of Muskoka Lakes.

Significant flooding this spring, and extremely high water levels this fall, clearly indicate that a review of watershed management in Muskoka is appropriate.  We look forward to working with the MNR and the Township of Muskoka Lakes to find ways to reduce the likelihood of future flooding in Muskoka.  

A copy of our report can be found here.

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