I have archived the December 2017 Water Level Chart (at left) bringing us to the end of another year of sub-par water levels. The most notable feature of the December chart is how little the lake level changed over the course of the month despite below average precipitation for the month; the lake level started out the month at -43.32″ below the normal high water mark and ended the month just a hair more than 1″ higher at -42.24″ all in all pretty much flat for the whole month. We only received 2.16″ of precipitation, a good inch less than average. We ended the year at 37.60″ of precipitation, almost 4.5″ less than average. We’ve already got a pretty good snow pack started so I expect ground water supplies will be well replenished come spring.
The chart for the whole year (at left) is pretty interesting. It clearly shows the impact of drought conditions and a low water table on lake level: even significant rain events in excess of 1″ had little effect on the lake level with most of the rainfall soaking into the ground and resulting in little rise in lake level: the lake level fell steadily from it’s high of -10.08″ on April 11th (the highest the lake has gotten since I started measuring the water level in December 2011) to it’s low of -60.36″ below the normal high water mark on October 24th, which bottom was actually 7″ higher than the bottom of year before thanks to beavers; in late September they built a small dam between the Narrow Gauge Railroad abutments at the head of the mill pond which was enough to keep the lake level up just a bit. Almost 9″ of rain in late October effectively ended the drought though it only brought the lake up about 13″ due to the ground being so dry.
I’m suspending water level measurements until further notice. With the snow, ice, and intensely cold weather we’ve been having lately, traipsing down to the lake to take water level measurements has become pretty tedious and difficult. I’ll probably snag a measurement or two this winter when time and weather permit, but unless we get a major change in the weather I don’t expect I’ll resume regular water level measurements until March.
Here’s hoping 2018 finally brings us a satisfactory resolution of our water level crisis. Happy New Year folks!