Scarcity of Water in the Great Lakes

Posting this week is light as I’m on my 8th Annual Dad & Son Adventure with my 12 year old son. We are in Door County, WI (in between Green Bay and the main body of Lake Michigan) and will be hugging the south shore of Lake Superior on our return.

The picture you see in this post is the tip of the Door peninsula jutting out in to Lake Michigan. Since the water level is three feet lower than normal all the white rocks you see are normally covered with water and up several feet up the rock cliff. The stress of the drought on the trees we hiked through and the lake itself is quite obvious and very disconcerting.

Parasailing, jet skiing, swimming and hiking are some of the activities we’ve been engaged in this week so we’ve been in close contact with the lake and I’ve been seeing first hand the impact this water drop is having.

With my beloved Lake Superior down two feet — along with all the buzz about global warming — makes it easy to leap to the conclusion this water drop is due to that clear trend of human powered warming. But is that the reason? Others believe it could be part of normal hydrological cycles.

I’ve long suspected that as we pump water out of the acquifers underneath major sections of the United States, water will flow or drip in to fill them. Will that come from the system that may be fed by the great lakes thus causing them to drop quickly? Smarter people than I are looking at this exact question and no one knows yet.

Relying on scientific evidence of long term effects is the only way to measure all the macro effects. But I go to formerly wild places that I went to decades ago as a kid and I can see so many changes. Algae that has caused the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to designate lakes I used to swim in as “swimming not supported.” Fields of wildflowers with butterflies now covered with condos. Trees in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness that look like the stressed-from-pollution trees I saw on the tollways and in the parks when I lived in Chicago.

Maybe this stuff is part of normal cycles or global warming related, but anyone with any observational skills and half-a-brain must realize humans are making one helluva impact on this planet.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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