Lake Levels

Current Reservoir Levels

Cascade Water Alliance has announced the 2023 Lake Tapps Reservoir drawdown. Due to the dry and warm weather conditions, Cascade is not able to add any additional water to the reservoir in September and October, so reservoir levels are likely to start dropping. Cascade will begin the active fall drawdown on November 1 and will bring the reservoir level down from its current approximately 542.3 feet elevation to approximately 538-539 feet elevation for the fall and winter.  This drawdown is necessary for the integrity and maintenance of the dikes and to ensure safety from wind, storm, and wave action during the winter months.

Residents should watch levels for the rest of September and October and make appropriate decisions regarding watercraft and other property. Cascade recommends that residents remove their boats from the water at the latest by mid-October, but keep in mind that specific situations may vary and require action before that date.

Cascade maintains seasonal recreational water levels between elevation 541.5 feet and 543 feet from April 15 to September 30. The 2024 spring refill is anticipated to begin in mid-February. Also Cascade plans to raise the reservoir to approximately 543 feet during the spring. This is the maximum allowable fill level at which Cascade can operate under operating agreements with the Lake Tapps Community Council.

If residents are planning work on their property that uses Cascade’s property below the 545 feet elevation line, this is a good time to obtain the appropriate, required permits and a Cascade license prior to beginning any work. Further, residents should keep in mind as they do work on their property, especially bulkheads, that Cascade has the authority to raise reservoir levels to elevation 543 feet under current water rights, so any new or modified bulkheads should be built with the consideration that the reservoir level will be up to 543 feet. Cascade raises the reservoir to 543 feet once a year so that residents know where the water level is on their property.

Residents can monitor overall reservoir water levels by clicking here.

For information regarding licenses for project work click here.

USGS Links:

Lake Tapps Level Gage 

White River Gage

General Reservoir Level Management

Cascade has owned and operated the Lake Tapps Reservoir since 2009. During that time, Cascade has managed lake levels in accordance with the provisions of the Lake Tapps Reservoir Water Rights, which incorporate relevant provisions from the 2009 Agreement regarding Lake Tapps between Cascade Water Alliance and the Lake Tapps Community and the 2008 White River Management Agreement between the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Cascade Water Alliance.

The Water Rights and the agreements provide for Cascade to maintain recreational reservoir levels or normal full pool, between elevation 541.5′ and 543.0′ (gage height) from April 15 through Sept. 30.

Typical fall drawdown to a lake level of approximately elevation 538′ – 539′ is sufficient to protect the integrity of the Lake Tapps dikes and for any routine inspections. This minimizes the wear on the valves in the power house during fall drawdown and the risk of problems refilling the Lake Tapps Reservoir during periods of water shortage.

Specific dike or other maintenance projects will require Cascade to reduce the lake level in the fall and winter to approximately elevation 533′ to 535′ (some projects may require the level to be lower).