Deep Ward Lake is the official name of a popular Grand Mesa lake that won't live up to its name this summer. Don't blame drought, there's another reason the lake won't fill this year.

The real problem is Ward Lake has developed a leak in one of the worst places possible, the dam. The U.S. Forest Service says the leak poses safety concerns and filling the lake would increase the potential danger.

Beginning in June, heavy equipment will be brought in to breach the dam, perform tests on the soil, and determine the structural integrity of the dam. In 2019, the necessary repairs will be made to restore the dam so the lake can be filled to capacity. That means the lake won't be completely full until the snow melts in 2020.

Even though the lake will be smaller, there are plans to keep enough water in the lake for fishing and non-motorized boating. The campground is also expected to remain open throughout the project as are the roads and trails around the lake.

For safety reasons, people who visit Ward Lake are asked to avoid the heavy equipment and construction areas.

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