DES Announces Fall Drawdown Notice & Opinion Survey
Management of the Water Level of Lakes Waukewan and Winona
Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) and Hampshire Hospitality Holdings, Inc., owner of the Lake Waukewan Dam, have arranged to complete a winter drawdown of Waukewan and Winona lakes. This drawdown, which is likely to begin on or about November 9, will result in a water level elevation of approximately 539 feet. As a reference, June and July 2009 average water level elevation was approximately 540 feet and six inches. Lake Winona, whose level is also influenced by operations of the Lake Waukewan Dam, is likely to drop a similar or slightly lesser amount. The dam owner will endeavor to hold this level throughout the winter months so as to provide for additional storage and a reduced potential for flooding from spring runoff.
Additionally, DES has held two public information meetings to accept public comments on the management of water levels for Lakes Waukewan and Winona. These meetings, which occurred in Center Harbor on Monday, September 28, and in Meredith on Tuesday, September 29, provided DES and the dam owner with information and opinions on current and future water management practices. DES has expanded its efforts to garner additional comment from lakeshore residents and lake users by developing an online opinion survey form. This form may be accessed on the DES website (www.des.nh.gov ) under What’s New on the homepage. DES will also partner with area lake associations and interest groups, as well as with local municipal officials, to insure that word of the opinion survey reaches as many people as possible. Ultimately, DES, after evaluating the responses, together with other information already and as yet gathered, will issue an interim operating plan to the dam owner that will be exercised through the 2010 recreational season. After that time, mostly likely by mid-August 2010, DES will again reach out to the affected population to discuss the best long-range plan for managing the levels of both Lake Waukewan and Lake Winona.DES intends to issue the interim operating plan by February 1, 2010, so surveys should be completed and received by DES by December 18, 2009. Please take the time to fill in the survey completely so that we may characterize your interest appropriately.
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