Zosel Dam is the only dam we own and operate. The dam's primary purpose is to maintain lake levels on Osoyoos Lake, which is on the boundary of the United States and Canada near Oroville. Lake levels are mandated by the International Joint Commission, a board made up of representatives from the U.S. and Canada.
The lake hosts summer homes, recreational activities, and supplies irrigation water on both sides of the border.
June 1, 2018
Water levels in Osoyoos Lake are declining rapidly as the huge snowpack of winter 2018 in British Columbia melts off and moves downriver through the Okanogan and Similkameen systems.
After rising to more than 916 feet elevation on May 12 and again on May 18, the lake level has fallen to under 914 feet by the last day of May.
During the runoff season, which can extend into early July depending on snowpack, the level of the lake can rise sharply. The lake level is influenced by water levels in Okanagan Lake to the north, as well as snowpack in British Columbia.
The four gates at Zosel dam have been wide open since late March. As the lake level falls below 913 feet, which operators expect to see in the next several days or during the first week in June, the gates will begin to come back into use, bringing Lake Osoyoos to summer levels. This level is between 911.5 and 912 feet.
To track the progress of lake levels in real time, as well as find additional information, visit the USGS web page for Osoyoos Lake.
A River Film
We, along with Okanagan Basin Water Board and other partners, recently completed a two-year film project about the communities surrounding Lake Osoyoos. A River Film is a documentary of life in the Okanogan basin on both sides of the border. The film shows cooperation and collaboration among various interests that must share a limited resource in an arid environment. The 40-minute film debuted at the International Board of Control for Lake Osoyoos annual meeting on Oct. 17. Additional screenings can be found on the International Osoyoos Lake Board of Control website.
Flooding in Okanogan County
In May 2018, flooding occurred along the Okanogan and Similkameen rivers. Zosel Dam was also affected.