By Sarah Lemmon
Photo & story courtesy of Seattle Greenlaker
Have you noticed the level of Green Lake seems to be lower? It’s not your imagination. The Lake is so low in fact that in late July Seattle Parks Department had to remove the 3-meter diving boards from both East and West Green Lake. Why? The Parks Department confirmed that the drought has caused the level of the lake to lower dramatically.
Green Lake isn’t a deep lake. The deepest tends to be about 30 feet, but most if it is much shallower. We reached out to Friends of Green Lake (FOGL) to find out if they had depth information. According to FOGL who took data from the east side of the lake, not only is the lake level low but it is lower than the past few summers, that are also trending lower. See the Friends of Green Lake graph.
Richard Fleming, President of Friends of Green Lake said “since the majority of water entering Green Lake comes from rainfall onto its surface, the effect of major rainfall is often seen as a rise in surface elevation… I must emphasize that while this summer the lake and the region are experiencing a substantive drought; in the prior two years the lake also experienced water levels well below what was casually observed in prior years.
“Thus, while the conditions this summer are more severe; 2013, 2014 and 2015 each show unusually low lake levels.” Fleming says that the change in the level can not be explained, despite discussing with both Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle Parks Department. “In the up-coming elections, citizens may wish to ask candidates ‘Where has the water for Green Lake gone, and what is proposed to restore Green Lake water levels?’ Fleming said.
See this story and more on the Seattle Greenlaker blog.