National power company Landsvirkjun had a new river mouth made for Lagarfljót in East Iceland last year at the risk of the old river mouth shifting further and carrying water from Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam into fishing river Fögruhlíðará, which also mouths into the bay. The measures appear to have been successful.
“The old river mouth closed completely on its own as we had assumed,” project manager at Landsvirkjun Helgi Jóhannesson told RÚV. The new location of Lagarfljót’s mouth is in fact its original location; the mouth of the river had shifted considerably as a consequence of water from Kárahnjúkavirkjun being channeled into it after the dam opened in 2006.
During spring thaw, melt water has flowed through the new river mouth. The weather has helped. “There were no floods this year and the crest of the old mouth has become so high that we decided not to make it bigger … this spring. So everything has worked out as planned,” Helgi added.
The ground water level at Húsey, a farm and hostel located between Lagarfljót and another glacial river, Jökulsá á Brú, has dropped; concern had been raised because the water level was increasing. Landsvirkjun will continue to monitor the situation.