Mars won't drain lake

Another day, another far-fetched (out of the box) way to get the level of Okanagan Lake down quickly.

This one involves the Martin Mars water bomber.

The iconic plane, used for years to fight forest fires in the province, including the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire, sits idle at Sproat Lake, near Port Alberni.

The idea presented by some Castanet readers would be for the Martin Mars to make repeated passes over the lake, filling its hold with water, and dropping that onto forests around the region.

Oddly enough, the idea did get to the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre, and the numbers were crunched.

The Martin Mars has a capacity of 27,000 litres of water. And, according to the EOC, it would take about 50,000 passes by the Martin Mars to lower the lake by a few centimetres.

That doesn't factor in any damage the bomber may cause churning up waves on the lake.

Another suggestion to allow people to open their sprinklers was also debunked.

It was suggested more water evaporates from the lake than would be taken out with constant irrigation.

There is also the matter of where the water would go. Some would return to the lake and some would seep into the ground, potentially causing ground water problems.

It appears the only solution to lowering Okanagan Lake to its optimal level is time.

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