Scientist looks for solutions to sinking Great Lakes water levels
Sudbury scientist says possible 'speed bumps' to slow water loss from lakes Huron and Michigan could help
A Sudbury scientist says recent recommendations to raise water levels on Lake Huron could be tricky to execute — but it’s worth a shot.
The International Joint Commission has called on the US and Canadian governments to look at installing structures like speed bumps in the St. Clair River to slow the loss of water from lakes Huron and Michigan.
Al Douglas works with a research agency at Laurentian University and has studied the sustainability of the Great Lakes. He also operates a lodge on Manitoulin Island. He said it's difficult to predict what kind of affect such a measure would have on the lakes.
"It is very difficult to try and understand exactly what the impacts would be, both in the short term and in the long term with such a large … long [river] system," he said. "There will be downstream effects."
But he said projected results versus actual ones don't always line up.
"These are all modelled results," Douglas said. "We have to use the best science that we've got."
Douglas said any solution needs to balance the interests of all stakeholders on the lakes.
Over the last number of years, Douglas said the water levels in lakes Michigan and Huron have gone down more than 25 cm.