International Joint Commission to Investigate Great Lakes' Water Loss
In response to concerns from U.S. and Canadian policy makers that
the Great Lakes have sprung a giant leak, the International Joint
Commission (IJC) announced recently it will conduct an investigation
into whether erosion from dredging caused water levels in lakes Huron
and Michigan to decline to near-record lows.
The IJC study's first phase will involve an examination of whether
possible dredging conducted decades ago in the St. Clair River may be
responsible for changes in water levels. The dredging could have
resulted in accelerated erosion, causing the water loss.
The researchers will try to understand the impact of climate change
on lake levels and how regulation of the lakes must take into
consideration less precipitation, higher air and water temperatures,
reduced ice cover and more evaporation.
"People who fish, boat and swim in the Upper Great Lakes and
industries that depend on the lakes for shipping must play a critical
role in the study," said Irene Brooks, acting U.S. chairperson of the
IJC is an independent body established by the Boundary Waters Treaty
of 1909 to prevent and resolve disputes over the use of waters shared
by the United States and Canada. For more information, contact IJC at http://www.ijc.org.