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Low water levels caused by St. Clair leak says speaker

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Low water levels caused by St. Clair leak says speaker

Low water levers in Georgian Bay/Lake Huron are being caused by increased water flows through the St. Clair River.

 

 

Chris Fell / meafordexpress.com

Mar 05, 2008

 

 

Roy Schatz was the guest speaker at the Meaford and District Chamber of Commerce's Annual General meeting last Thursday night.

 

Schatz is the founding President of the Georgian Bay Foundation, an organization that has conducted research, funded studies, and lobbied Canadian and U.S. government officials in an effort to get the powers that be to address the declining water levels of the Upper Great Lakes.

 

Schatz spoke to a large audience at the arena about low water levels in the upper Great Lakes. A prevailing theory explaining why water levels have dropped so low involved the dredging of the St. Clair River to create a deeper basin for ship traffic.

 

"Too much of our water is flowing every minute of every day out the St. Clair River," Schatz explained during his speech.

 

"That flow is no longer what Mother Nature designed; it has been artificially increased to much more than what flows in from Lake Superior and other sources, with the result that areas such as Georgian Bay are incurring permanent loss of water. Bear in mind that only one per cent or so of the water of the Great Lakes is renewed each year; nearly 99 per cent is glacial deposit from the last ice age, and if it is allowed to flow elsewhere, it's gone, gone, gone," he said.

 

Dredging of the St. Clair River began in 1885. It was dredged several times over the years. In addition, a large natural sand bar was removed on the U.S. side in order to enlarge the channel in the 1960s.

 

"Even a C+ science student can tell you that water loaded down with sand doesn't flow as fast as water with almost no sand in it. That faster flow has scoured the now soft riverbed, which has little natural gravel left, and made the river deeper," he said.

 

Various studies have concluded that the low water levels have been caused by the St. Clair River situation. Remedial measures to correct the problem have been suggested by the scientific community. However, at this point, the International Joint Commission has not acted on the recommendations contained in their own studies.

 

Schatz provided the audience with charts showing the periodic highs and lows of Great Lakes water levels since the 1860s. Current levels have dipped below the crisis low-level mark of 176.01 metres several times over the past few years.

 

Schatz said it's time for governments to act or risk damage to the Lakes that cannot be reversed.

 

 

"If Georgian Bay continues to recede, you know that the local economy will go into a recession. But if the water levels crisis is solved, there is no limit to the future prosperity of this beautiful part of Ontario," he said.

 

 

Schatz said it is very important for citizens to talk about the issue with friends, relatives, neighbours and especially government representatives at the federal and provincial levels.

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this has been a sore spot for several years now,and it seems that niether government wants to do anything about it,and lakes just keep getting lower & lower,i see it everytime i go out on lake ontario,that 2007 was the lowest ever in over 150 yrs of the levels being checked,its not good news at all....

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Schatz... boy I'd hate to have that last name! :rolleyes:

 

I can't remember where I read it, but there's a hole somehere in the great lakes that is draining the great lake into the Atlantic ocean... and underground river of some sort. Has anyone else heard of this?

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Hey Glen, here's an article about it from the Toronto Star....

 

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/stor...0815?hub=Canada

 

I saw many articles saying that there is a drain hole, but no mention of an underground river. They seem to point towards the dredging has caused the flow rate to increase dramatically from Huron to Erie. By dredging, it increased the speed at which the water is moving, and the bottom is eroding more and more because of it, making the problem worse as time goes by. In some places, the 30 ft they dredged is now up to 60 feet.

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