Zosel Dam

Zosel Dam is the only dam we own and operate. The dam's primary purpose is to maintain water 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 and recreational activities, and supplies irrigation water on both sides of the border.

Water behind Zosel Dam, with grass in the foreground and snow-capped hills in the background.

Zosel Dam near Oroville, Washington. Photo by Chad Mathews

Current Conditions

As of June 10, 2019, extreme low flows forecast in the Okanagan and Similkameen rivers threaten the ability of local irrigators to use water from the rivers later in the summer. During these conditions, the lake can provide some limited backup source of water going into the summer.

We've started filling the lake more to increase water storage as we work to respond to declared drought across the region. Although storage capacities in Lake Osoyoos are limited, a half foot of water level increase will give us 3,000 acre-feet of water. To track the progress of lake levels in real time, as well as find additional information, visit the USGS web page for Osoyoos Lake.