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Public meetings this week on low water level conditions on Lake Ontario

Moses-Saunders Power Dam.
Veronica Volk
Moses-Saunders Power Dam.

There will be two virtual public meetings this week about the current, low water level conditions on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

The last 12 months over Lake Ontario have been the driest since 1966, according to the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board. The meetings are aimed at providing information and giving the public an opportunity to voice their concerns.

The board's announcement stated that it has been hearing concerns from recreational users, business and property owners about the recent low water levels. They will be providing some information about dry weather conditions and then responding to questions from the public. 

The drought conditions led the board to implement measures to try to reduce the impact of low water levels. However, they stated that nothing will “eliminate the risk of extreme water levels from occurring during periods of severe weather and water supply conditions.” 

Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River experienced record high water levels in 2017 and 2019, leading to intense scrutiny over how the board regulates the two water bodies.

Anyone may register online for the upcoming meetings and questions can be submitted in advance.  Capacity is limited. Both meetings will be online. The meetings will be on Tuesday, June 15 and Thursday, June 17, 6:30-7:30 p.m..

Celia Clarke is a reporter with North Country Public Radio.