One flood mitigation plan might be to encourage excess water from Devils Lake to flow through its natural overflow point into the Sheyenne River before the level becomes too high. The problem with this idea is of water quality. As a closed basin lake, Devils Lake contains more sulfates than the Sheyenne River. Devils Lake water cannot simply be pumped into the river.
Because the majority of the water enters the west end of the lake, the amount of dissolved solids increases toward the east part of the lake. So even though the natural outflow point is in Stump Lake in the eastern portion of the basin, the state of North Dakota built an outlet on the west side.
This outlet can pump up to 250 cubic feet (7 cubic meters) per second into the river. It was built as an emergency outlet to mitigate the damage that could be caused by a natural spillover of the lake. However, when the Sheyenne River is high, the amount of water that can be pumped into it is limited.
Landsat imagery is one of many data sources used to help solve the problems caused by the rising levels of Devils Lake. Monitoring the changes caused by the rising waters can help mitigate damage to farmland, roads, and structures.