The Lake Hopatcong Alliance's Ron Sorensen, who was a part of the water-level management planning committee, shares his thoughts about the plan, which is to be in the spotlight at a January 31 special Lake Hopatcong Commission meeting.
What you should know about the new Lake Hopatcong Water Management Plan…
- Per this plan Lake Hopatcong must discharge 12cfs at all times regardless of how low the lake may be.
- Per DEP statistics, with average rainfall, evaporation and a 12cfs discharge, the lake can not maintain it’s normal lake level.
- This plan does not follow statutory obligations (NJSA 13:12-5) which says that the lake will be maintained at the high water mark to be used as an aquatic park for recreational purposes.
- The plan acknowledges the 12cfs requirement was established in the 1930’s from a court order to protect industries downstream which no longer exist today.
- The DEP acknowledges in the plan that there is no current scientific basis for the mandated 12 cfs requirement.
- While there are many statements made about the need for 12cfs downstream to support the environment and wildlife, there is no mention about the same concerns and water quality issues for Lake Hopatcong when the lake level drops below its normal level.
- The plan does acknowledge that there have been outflow reductions made in the past with no adverse effects to environment or wildlife.
- The plan does not specifically allow for any reduction of outflow to protect Lake Hopatcong’s level. The lake can in theory be completely drained if this plan is followed.
While we all have concerns about our local environments this plan is virtually silent regarding the adverse conditions on Lake Hopatcong due to low water levels that will be inevitable if this plan is followed. Now is the time to speak up for your lake and make sure that the waters of Lake Hopatcong will be preserved for all current and future generations to use as intended by our forefathers almost 100 years ago!!! The DEP is running a public comment meeting in conjunction with the Lake Hopatcong Commission on January 31 at Roxbury Municipal Building starting at 6:00. The purpose of this meeting is to hear residents concerns about this plan. PLEASE COME OUT AND SUPPORT YOUR LAKE!!!