(WHAM) - Water levels on Lake Ontario have fallen nearly one foot in the last two months, according to new data released by the International Joint Commission.
The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board, which regulates the outflows for Lake Ontario according to Plan 2014, released the data Friday. Officials said the lower levels are due to "a combination of continued record-high outflows, declining inflows from Lake Erie and generally drier weather."
The water level has dropped 11.4 inches since June 13. At that point, the outflows was increased to 367,270 cubic feet per second - an all-time high. That outflow has been maintained for 61 straight days. IJC officials said 55 days was the previous longest stretch of time during which that outflow was sustained from June 14 to August 7, 2017.
"The Board is acutely aware and concerned for the welfare of the many affected shoreline property and business owners, as well as the shoreline environmental damage and other impacts of the continuing high water levels," . "The Boards’ current regulation strategy includes deviations from the prescribed flows of Plan 2014 with the specific intention of maximizing the rate of relief that lower water levels will provide to those affected."
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced last week that it will review the IJC and Plan 2014. Many have blamed it for flooding that caused extensive damage in 2017 and again this past spring.