US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District

2012 Low Water Conditions

The extended drought conditions that have occurred in many of the Midwestern and Western states, in the Mississippi River water shed, this year have created water levels in the Mississippi River that are below normal and approaching near record lows. These low water level conditions have created problems with navigation on the Mississippi River and the conditions may continue into the spring.

The Mississippi River is an important transportation system. Many items travel up and down the river via barges. Between 50-60% of total U.S. corn and 30-45% of total U.S. Soybean exports travel along the Mississippi.

Lake Shelbyville is a multipurpose project that includes the authorized purposes of flood control, navigation, environmental stewardship, water supply and recreation. With the ongoing drought and low water conditions in the Mississippi joint use water from Lake Carlyle and Lake Shelbyville may be used to help with maintaining a navigable water level in the middle Mississippi between Chester and Cairo, IL. This webpage will be updated with information on when water may be released from the lake and projected water levels.

For more information on the 2012 Low Water Impact along the Middle Mississippi River click on the links below: 

2012 Low-Water Conditions Along the Middle Mississippi River 

Low Water 2012-2013

UPDATES
December 18, 2012
The winter draw down of Lake Shelbyville has started. The outflow as of 11:00 a.m. is at 1100 Cubic Feet of water per Second(CFS). The expected outflow is expected to be in the range of 1200 – 1400 CFS. At this time the target level for the draw down is 594.0 feet above sea level. This level is the normal winter pool level.