flood gates open

Message From CEO David Casaletto

High Lake Levels the New Norm for the White River Lakes

We have gotten used to high lake levels due to heavy rain events over the last 14 years, but that was not the norm previously. After the floods of 2008, 2011 and 2015, I did a little research for a newsletter. While all the White River lakes are affected, I live on Table Rock, so I focused on that lake. After the Table Rock Dam was built, no major flood event occurred for more than 50 years! In fact, when I moved to this area in 1999, I was told the opening of the flood gates at any of the three lakes almost never happened. And the homes built on the shore of Lake Taneycomo in the flood plain had never been flooded by a release of water from Table Rock Lake dam.

Then came the 2008 flood. All three lakes filled up, flood gates were opened and Table Rock Lake set a new record elevation at 933.25. Everyone said that was a 100 year or even 500 year flood event and we would never see those levels again in our lifetime. Then came April 2011. A major storm event over the entire basin caused Table Rock Lake to rise 5' overnight. Again, all three lakes were filled and flood gates opened. Table Rock Lake set another new elevation record of 935.47' and a new flood gate release record of 68,000 cfs and houses along Lake Taneycomo were again flooded. In 2015, we again filled up the lake, but not at record levels. Since I did this research in 2015, we continue to have major rain events that fill up our lakes. In 2017, Table Rock reached 934.2, in 2020 931.2 and now in 2022 we hit 927.5. I think there can be no argument our weather patterns have changed and while, on average, we do not get more rain per year than previously, we tend to now get a lot of that rain in one big event.
We are Hiring! Outreach Coordinator
If you are passionate about our rich water resources in our beautiful Ozark region, this is a fantastic opportunity. H2Ozarks is seeking a smart and energetic individual to plan, develop, implement, and analyze outreach campaigns, marketing efforts, and related tasks. The successful applicant will have exceptional written and oral communication skills, an innovative and creative way of problem-solving, exceptional time management abilities, and a goal-oriented mindset. This position is full-time with health and retirement benefits as well as paid time off. Salary varies depending on experience. To view and/or print the Call for Applications, click HERE.
Rain, Rain, Come What May!
If you have a rain barrel, we want to see it! be sure to follow us on social media @H2Ozarks.org and tag your rain barrel picture! #RainBarrel #h2ozarks

Wow, is it just me or have we had a lot of rain in the last two months? Typically, I judge a rainy spring season by how many baseball games are cancelled, rescheduled, and cancelled again due to rain. By my scoring method, it has been a rainy spring! The National Weather Service seems to support my conclusion, as we had 5.32 inches of rain for the month of April, and May is currently at 8.69 inches and gaining! Normal rainfall for these two months is approximately 4.71 and 5.56 inches respectively.

With recreational activities being cancelled, except recreational puddle-jumping, what are we to do with all of this rain!? HARVEST THE RAIN with a RAIN BARREL! Rain barrels do much more than simply hold “free” water for use in irrigating lawns, gardens, and indoor plants. Rain barrels slow runoff and, in turn, reduce stormwater pollution. Rain barrels reduce, but do not eliminate, stormwater pollution by capturing rainwater that has picked up bacteria from birds and other animals, chemicals from roof material, and other potential pollutants. These pollutants enter the rainwater as rain passes across roofs, pavement, and other surfaces. If we can help reduce the amount of runoff, then the remaining rainwater can seep back into the ground slowly. This reduces the amount of polluted water that runs into our rivers, streams, lakes, and other water resources. In this way, we are doing our part to conserve and promote water quality.

Be aware that harvested rainwater may have come into contact with pollutants. This is important to remember if you wish to use harvested water from rain barrels to water edible plants. Check out this article for some precautions you can take to mitigate exposure risk when using rain barrel water on your edible plants: http://sightline.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/rain-garden-trifold.pdf

Want more information on rain barrels? https://www.epa.gov/soakuptherain/soak-rain-rain-barrels
Welcome to our New Program Director, Jerry Harman
Meet our new H2Ozarks Program Director, Jerry Harman. Jerry has been serving as the Kimberling City City Administrator since 2016. His duties included writing the city newsletter, obtaining grant funding and completion of the first city adopted comprehensive plan. Jerry also works part-time as a fly-fishing guide for Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. Previously, Jerry had worked in senior management for companies in the St. Louis area. We are excited to welcome Jerry to our team! Jerry and his wife Lynne, live in Kimberling City.
The H2Ozarks Team
David Casaletto
Carin Love
Jerry Harman
Program Director
Erin Scott
Senior Policy and Program Director
Shelly Dare Smith
Arkansas Program Manager
Coming Soon!
Outreach Coordinator