Predicting New Lake Water Levels
We paid $97,425 for developing a new method for predicting the water level of Deep Creek Lake. Called the Water Budget Model, it will allow the Brookfield Renewable Power Company, which operates the dam on Deep Creek Lake, to time water releases from the dam in light of the anticipated height of the water in the lake.
The height of the water in the lake is prescribed by a set of rule bands for each month; the lake level should remain between a stated upper and lower rule band. These requirements are set out in the power company’s permit to operate the dam, granted by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). Ideally, the water releases from the dam are timed to simultaneously benefit the needs of the power company, the whitewater community (the lake empties into the Youghiogheny River, a major whitewater site), the trout fishing site below the dam, and the Deep Creek Lake homeowners and recreation interests.
The challenge for the power company is to time the dam releases so that the water level of the lake is kept high enough to satisfy all of the people who benefit from the water in the lake. After paying for developing the Water Budget Model over the past two years, the Foundation has presented it to MDE and the power company for their use. Brookfield Renewable Power told us it is looking forward to incorporating the Water Budget Model in its on-going planning of when, and how much water to release from the dam.