The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will raise lakes
Washington and Union to the target summer elevation a couple weeks earlier than
normal due to extremely low inflows to Lake Washington.
lake is currently at elevation 21.9 feet, which is typical for early May and
consistent with normal annual operation. However, given the extreme low water
supply situation (no mountain snow pack, dry recent conditions), the Corps
intends to complete refill to an elevation of 22 feet in the next week or two
instead of the June 1 date typically targeted.
Army Corps needs to fill to 22 feet now to ensure that the lakes can reach that
we wait until late May, there probably won't be sufficient lake inflow to get
us to elevation 22 feet,” said Ken Brettmann, senior water manager with the
Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“In a very poor water supply year like this one, getting the lake to 22
feet is extremely important, as every inch of water in the 2-foot operating
band will be needed to operate the locks for fish passage, lockages, and managing
water quality concerns this year given current and expected future low lake
The official lake level is measured at the
Locks. Lake Washington levels may vary due to the natural gradient between the
lake and the locks or wind that can push the lake levels up for short
durations. Depending on conditions, the lake may remain at full pool through
June and July.
Vessel owners should closely monitor lake
elevations and adjust mooring lines as necessary.
More information on Lake Washington’s status is
available on the Corps’ Seattle District Reservoir Control Center website at http://bit.ly/NWS-RCC.