Baikal overflows after 15 years of drought, Russia

Fifteen years of lack of water, and now Baikal “woke up” after a period of prolonged drought. True, now the deep lake threatens to flood the coastal areas not only in Buryatia, but also in the Irkutsk region. Moreover, it can even harm its own ecosystem.

The water in Baikal arrives by about a centimeter a day, and the negative consequences are already visible. The regional government, with reference to the director of the Baikal Institute of Nature Management, Endon Garmaev, said that this threatens to affect the quality of Baikal water due to disruption of water exchange in the Selenga River delta, which plays a key role in the mechanisms of self-purification of Baikal waters.

“At the Irkutsk hydroelectric power station there is, of course (it is not planned to increase the discharge volume). There, you know perfectly well, the level of Lake Baikal has increased by 9 centimeters, but it has already stabilized and is not growing for the third day. The situation is under constant control,” Kirillov told reporters.

“The established operating mode of the hydroelectric complex is 2700 meters per second, and we do not plan to increase it, since not so long ago there was heavy rainfall, including in the city limits of Irkutsk … Therefore, of course, for the rapid descent of water and … not to lead to flooding of the city of Irkutsk, no increase in discharge is planned yet, “- explained the head of the department.
Kirillov added that the existing water level in Lake Baikal will hold out for about three more weeks, and then it will enter the established range.

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