Discussion on “the development of the Ontario Power Co”

Author(s): Gano S. Dunn
Publisher: IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
Publication Date: 1 September 1905
Volume: 24
Page(s): 949 - 955
ISSN (Paper): 0097-2444
DOI: 10.1109/PAIEE.1905.6742547



On page 500 of Mr. Nunn's paper, he assumes from calculations of Lake Erie's level for nearly 50 years that the elevations of the intake have been so selected that at extreme low water and most adverse conditions a full supply of water should always be obtained. While he has been speaking, it has occurred to me to inquire what view the promoters and owners of this great development at Niagara Falls take of the possible withdrawal of the water at other places, such as the tapping of the great lakes at Chicago. The outlet of the great lakes, it is well known, used to be at Chicago, and the divide there is only 14 or 15 ft. high. Recently with the reversal of the flow of the Chicago River to give that city a deep-sea waterway and a pure water supply from the lake there has been taken out of the great lakes and consequently robbed from Niagara about 8 per cent. of the water that formerly went over the falls; and the Chicago people are talking of making still greater withdrawals of water from the lakes. There is a great inducement to do this, because in addition to other uses the water already taken is furnishing 40 000 h.p. The question is more than a State one, since it is outside of the territory of New York; it is an international one. I should like to know what view the engineers take of the possible diversion of this water which would make the levels much lower than would be necessary to run the plants.