Tag Archives: Environment

A Call to Action for the Great Lakes…

Here is another good opinion piece regarding what we must do to shepherd the immense water resources of the Great Lakes for current and future generations:

Globe environment reporter Martin Mittelstaedt’s excellent article The Great Lakes Disappearing Act summarized succinctly the case of our shrinking Great Lakes. He rightly points to global warming and dredging in the St. Clair River as major threats to lake levels, noting that Lake Superior is setting records for low-water marks, and levels in the other four sweet-water seas are well below long-term averages.

We must also take seriously the burgeoning water demands of rapidly growing urban centres, both within and beyond the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River ecosystem, looking to the lakes as the solution to their water woes. Most publicized among these are recurring plans and propositions to move Great Lakes water to far-off places facing water shortages, such as large-scale diversion of water across the continent to the arid southern United States.

But demands from much closer to home are likely the bigger threat to the Great Lakes, since they appear much more feasible from an economic perspective. The strongest of these are coming from rapidly growing communities just beyond the basin boundary, such as Waukesha and New Berlin in Wisconsin, looking to dip into Lake Michigan to replace depleted local groundwater supplies.

Thank our good Canadian friends at the Globe and Mail for this excellent piece entitled, Your tap, your toilet and the Great Lakes

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More Trouble for the Great Lakes…

From our friends at the Globe and Mail comes a frightening new story regarding the current trend of decreasing water levels in almost all of the Great Lakes…

The Great Lakes disappearing act:
Government forecasters are projecting that Lake Superior, the largest of the five, will fall to its lowest level for September since modern recordkeeping began nearly a century ago. The amount flowing out of the lake at its outlet, the St. Mary’s River, has plunged too, and would have to rise by a staggering 50 per cent to reach the average of the past century.

Levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron are also sagging, Ontario is down, as is Erie – although the latter, the smallest by volume, has been the least affected.

What’s going on? While there is no scientific certainty about what’s ailing the Great Lakes – which together form the world’s largest interconnected body of fresh water – some fear global warming is at work, causing them to shrink.

Yikes. This is the last thing that needs to be piled on top of all the other issues affecting the region. Hopefully the manmade or natural cause of this depletion can be identified and remedied before things get too far out of hand. I’ve been following the water crisis in Australia, and I would hate to see that happen in the Great Lakes region!

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