There Are Literally Switches That Turn Niagara Falls Down or Completely Off

Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in America, established in 1885. Over 8 million visitors explore the park annually to see the 176-foot waterfall. The water that flows over Niagara Falls is at 25-50% capacity at any given time. What many people don’t know is that the water flowing over Niagara Falls can be controlled. During the summer, once the sun goes down, the water is reduced from the daylight flow of 100,000 cubic feet per second to 50,000, allowing hydro plants on both sides of the border to draw more water for hydro generation. Both the New York State Power Authority and Hydro One pump this extra water into gigantic reservoirs to be used at their call. Once the cold weather sets in (November to April), even more water is diverted from going over the Falls. An additional 50,000 cubic feet per second is diverted for power generation, allowing only one-quarter of the water that could go over Niagara Falls to do so. In the early 1950s when this was decided, authorities justified the diversion by saying there are fewer visitors to the Falls during this time. The Falls can also be turned completely off. Of course, if the Falls were completely shut off at night, that would mean you wouldn't get the opportunity to see the breathtaking nightly Falls Illumination that occurs each night of the year for a few hours beginning at dusk.