The Conklingville Dam on Great Sacandaga Reservoir. Source: HRBRRD
The Albany Times-Union is reporting that the largely snowless winter and the earlier-than-usual spring melt have left reservoirs in northern New York high and dry.
At Great Sacandaga Lake, the state’s largest reservoir captures water made by melting snow from five Adirondack counties as far away as the High Peaks. Known as a “freshet,” this spring’s surge of incoming water was about half the historical average, said Robert Foltan, chief engineer at the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District.
“Usually, at this time of the year, about 80 percent of the snow is still in the mountains, frozen and waiting. Now, the snow is all gone,” he said. The freshet entering the 42-square-mile lake usually reaches its peak during mid-April.
With this year’s smaller, earlier freshet, the lake holds billions fewer gallons of water — about 129 billion gallons fewer that it held at its high point last April. Then, the reservoir hit a high of 774 feet above sea level; now,it is 756 feet, said Foltan.
The article points out that Catskill reservoirs are also down sharply.