Analysis of Sylvan Lake Level, and Control Options

Terry Chamulak, an Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development regional hydrologist, has completed a detailed study of how Sylvan Lake levels have changed between 1940 and 2012. He used a water balance model to reproduce the annual and longer term cyclical changes in the lake level and examined the performance of the lake outflow through Outlet Creek.

In a second report, Chamulak evaluated the possible effects of several outflow modification concepts that might be used to control the lake level. As Sylvan Lake’s level is determined by seasonal climate and weather conditions (precipitation and evaporation and the annual difference between those two large volumes of water), increasing the lake’s outflow for the convenience of beach goers would likely have negative impacts on others in the watershed.

Natural cycling of the lake level would still continue if the lake level was arbitrarily lowered.

Both reports are in final stages of editing and the linked versions should be treated as draft documents. Note that the first report is a 2 MB and the second one is a 6 MB download.

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