Jeff Frith

Jeff W. Frith

Manager at The Devils Lake Basin

Location:
524 4th Avenue NE #27, Devils Lake, North Dakota, United States
HQ Phone:
(701) 662-7076

General Information

Affiliations

Board Member - Grand Forks Herald

Recent News  

News | Devils Lake North Dakota Tourism Overview

The man in the know is Jeff Frith, Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resources Board manager.
"These recent estimates about took our breath away," Frith said. "The longer the ice holds, the higher the chances of a rapid warm-up which would magnify the situation, because snow would quickly melt. If an inch or more of rain also falls, the upper estimates could become a reality." To put the situation into perspective, Frith said, "The most recent estimate is that 780,000 acre/feet of water is poised to move downstream.

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Devils Lake Solutions in Action Water Tour set for June 20th | Devils Lake North Dakota Tourism Overview

Water-related presentations will be provided by: Suzie Kenner, Devils Lake Tourism Director; Bruce Engelhardt, water engineer with the North Dakota State Water Commission; and Jeff Frith, manager of the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board.

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Devils Lake dodges record level | Grand Forks Herald

"Spring runoff was actually pretty good, considering we had a lot of precipitation last fall and the first couple of snowstorms had a significant amount of moisture," said Jeff Frith, manager of the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board.
Frith said it was a stroke of luck and a combination of just the right weather conditions that kept the lake from jumping back to record levels. By the end of January, the area already had been hit by its third or fourth snowstorm, so the lake forecast was not looking good, Frith said. "(But after that) we really missed a lot of the storms that came through the area, so we were really fortunate in that sense," he said. "Overall, it was minor compared to what we've had in the past," Frith said. "Over the past 23 years, we've really gotten good at this." Frith said the state-run outlets currently are running at two-thirds capacity, pumping about 450 cubic feet of water per second. Engineers must closely monitor the flow into the Sheyenne River to keep it from flooding private property. They also factor the amount of sulfates in the water to keep it within safe levels for human, agricultural and animals uses. "The sulfate constraints are part of the reason they've had to dial back the discharge this year," Frith said. The east side of the lake is twice as high in sulfates as the west, so "it's really kind of a balancing act." Less precipitation this summer also meant little natural flow in the Sheyenne River, increasing its own sulfate and nutrient levels and making it difficult to crank up the pumps. It may be another year of two steps forward, one or two steps back, but Frith says the lake could return to fall 2016 levels if conditions continue as they have this summer. "One of the things people need to realize is we're still in an ongoing flood battle," he said. Jeff Frith, Devils Lake Joint Water Resource Board chairman. "Spring runoff was actually pretty good, considering we had a lot of precipitation last fall and the first couple of snowstorms had a significant amount of moisture," said Jeff Frith, manager of the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board. Frith said it was a stroke of luck and a combination of just the right weather conditions that kept the lake from jumping back to record levels. By the end of January, the area already had been hit by its third or fourth snowstorm, so the lake forecast was not looking good, Frith said. "(But after that) we really missed a lot of the storms that came through the area, so we were really fortunate in that sense," he said. "Overall, it was minor compared to what we've had in the past," Frith said. "Over the past 23 years, we've really gotten good at this." Frith said the state-run outlets currently are running at two-thirds capacity, pumping about 450 cubic feet of water per second. Engineers must closely monitor the flow into the Sheyenne River to keep it from flooding private property. They also factor the amount of sulfates in the water to keep it within safe levels for human, agricultural and animals uses. "The sulfate constraints are part of the reason they've had to dial back the discharge this year," Frith said. The east side of the lake is twice as high in sulfates as the west, so "it's really kind of a balancing act." Less precipitation this summer also meant little natural flow in the Sheyenne River, increasing its own sulfate and nutrient levels and making it difficult to crank up the pumps. It may be another year of two steps forward, one or two steps back, but Frith says the lake could return to fall 2016 levels if conditions continue as they have this summer. "One of the things people need to realize is we're still in an ongoing flood battle," he said.

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