Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Great Lakes Water Level Update

Back in December the International Joint Commission studying the impacts on water levels in the Great Lakes issued their summary report. For anyone with concerns regarding the low water levels in Georgian Bay, the summary recommendations or lack thereof were somewhat disappointing.

In summary, the report found that the water level in Lakes Michigan and Huron which includes Georgian Bay have declined approximately 9" from 1963 to 2006. Erosion of the St. Clair River bottom whose increased flow rate has long been felt as one of the major contributors to these low water levels has in fact been relatively stable now for a number of years. In total, the change in water carrying capacity of the St. Clair River is the estimated cause for 2.8" to 5.5" of the aforementioned 9" decline.

The second component of the decline is allegedly caused by a phenomena known as glacial isostatic adjustment. In layman's terms, the earth's crust is expanding (rising) which gives the impression that the water level is decreasing. Glacial isostatic adjustment is particularly pronounced in the area around Georgian Bay and accounts for 1.6" to 2" of the 9" water level decrease.

Lastly and most importantly is the change we are experiencing in climatic patterns ie: global warming. These changes have become more significant in recent years and is said to represent up to 76% of the decline in water levels between 1996 and 2005. Overall. the affect is 3.5" to as much as 6.7" of the total 9" decline that has taken place.

For the time being, no remedial actions of any significance are going to be implemented. Additional studies are ongoing and we can expect these to examine such issues as the St. Clair River, water flow from Lake Superior into Lakes Michigan and Huron as well as other factors.
For those interested copies of the report are available at the following link:

The next public meeting scheduled for our area is: March 22, 2010 at 7:00pm. North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre 527 Len Self Blvd, Midland.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.