Managing water level of lake

By Kimberly Allen

Water levels on Brome Lake are lower again this year, raising concerns about the dam at Foster which feeds water into the Yamaska River. 

“This year’s municipal committee will be making water, including water levels, environmental concerns and climate changes, a key feature of its upcoming strategic
plan,” says TBL Director General Gilbert Arel.

For the last three years there has been notably less rain and snow. The dam at Foster allows water from the lake to flow to the Yamaska River. Some of that is diverted to Bromont under an agreement that was signed by TBL, Bromont and the provincial government in 1984. 

TBL provides Bromont with a fixed volume of water which is, according to Mr. Arel, not a major player in the reasons for the low water levels of the lake. “For the last three years, we have been doing our best to manage the lake levels to provide adequate water for the lake users and Bromont has been very accommodating given that we have been stretching our agreement with them and providing them with a bare minimum.” 

“We cannot simply close the dam as some have suggested, because this will have a grave environmental impact on the flora and the fauna of the rivers,” says Mr. Arel. “We need to focus on finding viable solutions that will help us to maximize water levels of the lake for people to use for recreational purposes, while keeping in mind the protection of the environment and the need to protect some residences from flooding. We all understand that the changing environment and water shortage is a serious concern for everyone.”