Falk Announces $189,500 to manage Yahara Lake Levels
June 22, 2005
Lesley Sillaman, 267-8823 or 669-5606
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced a contract of $189,500 has been awarded to help the County develop a computer model to help manage rising lake levels caused by increased development and more stormwater runoff in the Yahara Lakes.
“Our lakes are one of the crown jewels of our county, and managing lake levels and run-off is an important part of protecting these great resources,” said Falk.
Lakes Monona, Mendota, Waubesa and Kegonsa have all been affected by dramatic development increases in the urban areas in their watersheds including the cities of Madison, Middleton, Monona, McFarland, Stoughton, Waunakee and DeForest. Increased development results in increasing stormwater runoff to the lakes, more pollution, and decreased infiltration to groundwater. This also creates a potential for more frequent and more severe flooding during wet periods and more severe drought conditions during periods of low flow.
The model developed during this project will also be used to evaluate the impacts of future land use conditions and land management practices, how stormwater management practices can affect lake levels, and how lake levels would respond to significant rainfalls. (Lake levels are set by the Department of Natural Resources and managed by Dane County.)
The Dane County Department of Land and Water Resources is coordinating the effort and overseeing the contract, advised by a group of experts from UW, DNR, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage Distract, MG & E, local watershed groups and municipalities along the Yahara River and its chain of lakes.
The project is fully funded from a Madison Gas & Electric Company donation and from a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lake Planning grant. The contract is with W.F. Baird & Associates, a Madison-based science and engineering firm that is internationally recognized for its expertise in this area. Baird is scheduled to complete the Yahara River model in September 2006.
The resolution passed the County Board and was signed by the County Executive this week.
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