Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority
When heavy rains fell in the Grand River watershed in mid-April the resulting inflows eventually led to floodgate operations at the Grand River Dam Authority’s Pensacola and Robert S. Kerr dams. On April 18, the United States Army Corps of Engineers directed GRDA to open seven gates at Pensacola and one at Kerr. Gates remained open for several days until the inflows slowed and the Corps directed closures.
During these times of water releases, GRDA tries to keep the public informed with its “floodwater release bulletins.” These are produced every time the Corps directs a new gate operation and each bulletin contains information on lake elevations, how much water (cubic feet per second) is flowing out through gates and generation, and how much water is still coming into the river system. When it is available, the bulletins also contain the Corps’ predicted lake crest information. The bulletins are released to a large email distribution list containing area media as well as lake-area stakeholders who have asked to be included in this database.
The bulletins are also posted to the GRDA Facebook page and website. Links to the latest bulletins are also distributed via text message to those who have signed up for the GRDA TextCaster (sign up for this free service by clicking on the “Text Alerts” tab under the “News” drop down menu on grda.com). Finally, a recorded phone message is updated with new gate information whenever it is available. You can access the recording by calling the main GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center phone number: (918) 782 4726.
Even during normal conditions, you can access plenty of lake data on grda.com, including both real-time data and the results of any recent water quality monitoring. Just click on the “Current Water Conditions” link under the “Lake Information” drop down menu to find information on dissolved oxygen levels, water temperatures and more.
The 70,000 surface acres of lake waters managed by GRDA are certainly “near and dear” to many Oklahomans and the Authority’s goal is to provide the type of data that lake-area stakeholders find important.
It is all part of the GRDA mission to make certain that “on and around our lakes we will support recreational development, environmental awareness and good safety practices to ensure the continued improvement of the quality of life for all of those who utilize our resources.”
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