Monthly Archive: August 2015

It’s Not Your Imagination! Green Lake Water Level Is Really Low and Getting Lower. Where Has All the Water Gone?

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.

Swimming platform with diving boards removed because the water is now too shallow for diving.

Monitoring results for August 24, 2015

Water temperature 20.5º C (68.9º F) at 1 meter depth.
Clarity as measured by Secchi depth 1.75 meters (5.74 ft).
Water is geting murkier.

Measured by Ben Hall from his kayak at the deepest point in the lake opposite the Hearthstone.