Great Lakes' Lower Water Levels Not Linked to Erosion
After reviewing video images from the St. Clair River bed, a
U.S.-Canadian advisory group stated that no evidence has been found to
conclude that erosion is causing water levels on Lakes Michigan and
Huron to drop.
The International Upper Great Lakes Study (IUGLS) stated that the
findings are preliminary and that more work involving sediment
transport measurements and sediment models are planned, along with
additional video observations in the river. The findings were released
recently in a progress report highlighting research projects on low
water levels in the Upper Great Lakes and possible physical changes in
the St. Clair River.
"The urgency of low water levels has put the study on the fast
track," said Gene Stakhiv, U.S. co-chairman of IUGLS. "However, it is
critical that the study complete a comprehensive scientific analysis of
all the key factors before discussing possible remedial actions in the
St. Clair River."
The progress report was released just two weeks after the
International Joint Commission approved plans to expedite the study on
water levels in the Great Lakes and to provide recommendations a full
year ahead of schedule. The next semiannual IUGLS progress report is
scheduled to be released in April 2008; however additional information
and findings may be released as research projects are completed.
The International Joint Commission appointed IUGLS in February 2007
to examine whether the regulation of Lake Superior outflows can be
improved to address the evolving needs of the Upper Great Lakes. For
more information on the progress report, contact the IUGLS at http://www.iugls.org.