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DENR Installs Water Level Monitoring Equipment Near Lake Thompson

For Immediate Release: Friday, May 8, 2020

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Brian Walsh, (605) 773-3296

FOR MONITORING DATA VISIT: https://water.weather.gov/ahps/


DENR Installs Water Level Monitoring Equipment Near Lake Thompson


PIERRE, S.D. – In April, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Watershed Protection Program installed new water level monitoring equipment on a bridge near Lake Thompson in Kingsbury County.  The new equipment measures lake water level elevations, date, and time. The data is automatically recorded and is available to the public through several websites including the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) web application.


The new equipment cost $7,650 and was funded by grants from the East Dakota Water Development District (EDWDD) and the South Dakota Lakes and Streams Association.


“I am excited about the installation of the new monitoring equipment and appreciate the financial support from our natural resources partners,” said DENR Secretary Hunter Roberts. “Having access to real-time data is very important for landowners near the lake.”


Before the installation, lake levels were measured on-site by staff from DENR or EDWDD and the data was uploaded to DENR’s “Lake Information” database. This process would take up to two days to complete. With the new equipment, lake levels are automatically measured every fifteen minutes and the data is sent via satellite link to the National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the AHPS once per hour.


High water levels at Lake Thompson have impacted homes, structures, roads, and other public infrastructure near the lake. Many residents of the area have had direct flood damage or have lost access to their property due to flooded roadways.


“Flooding is a persistent concern for landowners around the lake,” said Jay Gilberston, EDWDD Manager. “The real-time data provided by the new monitoring equipment helps landowners to make timely decisions about how to manage their property in response to rapidly changing lake levels.”




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