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Lake Superior levels expected to continue decline

Friday, January 31, 2014   by: Staff
The International Lake Superior Board of Control, under authority granted to it by the International Joint Commission, has set the Lake Superior outflow to 1,990 cubic meters per second (m3/s) (70.3 thousand cubic feet per second (tcfs)) for the month of February, effective February 1, 2014. 
The outflow is as prescribed by Plan 1977-A and is 100 m3/s (3.5 tcfs) less than the January outflow.
The February outflow will be released by discharging approximately 1,900 m3/s (67.1 tcfs) through the three hydropower plants and passing most of the remaining flow through the control structure at the head of the St. Marys Rapids.
The gate setting of the control structure for the month of February will be maintained at the equivalent of one-half gate open (four gates open 20 centimeters (cm) each), effective February 1. 
There will be no change to the setting of Gate #1 which supplies water to the channel north of the Fishery Remedial Dike.
This past month the water supplies to both Lake Superior and Lakes Michigan-Huron were above average. 
The level of Lake Superior declined 7 cm (3 inches) last month, which is equal to the average amount the lake declines in January. The Lake Superior level is approximately 3 cm (1 inch) below its long-term average beginning-of-February level, but 30 cm (12 inches) above the level recorded a year ago. 
It is 6 cm (2 inches) above its chart datum level. 
The level of Lake Superior is expected to continue its seasonal decline during February. 
The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron rose 1 cm (0.4 inches) this past month, while on average the lake declines 3 cm (1 inch) in January. 
The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is 31 cm (12 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-February level, but is 38 cm (15 inches) higher than it was a year ago, when the lake set a new record low. 
Lakes Michigan-Huron is now 3 cm (1 inch) below its chart datum level. 
The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is expected to remain at about the same level during February. 
The Board continues to monitor conditions both on Lake Superior and downstream, and will advise the International Joint Commission accordingly on those conditions.
BG Margaret Burcham is the United States Board Member. Mr. Jaymie Gadal is the Board Member for Canada.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
scottstewy123 1/31/2014 10:01:36 PM Report

Oh when the thaw hits I do not think water levels will be a problem this year.
Gurpy 1/31/2014 10:14:51 PM Report

I was just thinking the same thing!
streaker 1/31/2014 11:12:47 PM Report

This depends on how much water they send down the mississippi from lake michgan for their cargo ships on the river.
shju 2/1/2014 12:10:33 AM Report

so with record levels of rain we are still low? I havent seen water levels this high in the past 20 years.
atoz 2/1/2014 1:54:01 AM Report

Maybe its from selling our fresh water.
candoo 2/1/2014 5:55:21 AM Report

It rained a lot last summer and snow fall was high this winter. There is no excuse for low lake levels this year. Wouldn't it be nice if we had politicians with some "intestinal fortitude" to prevent what amounts to "theft" of our fresh water resources,
porter1977 2/1/2014 7:21:21 AM Report

Big brother down river wants more water, so we give it to them. All the dredging down river is a problem.
edz 2/1/2014 7:52:31 AM Report

they're talking seasonal ups and downs. The article also says Superior's levels are 12 inches higher than last year at this time.
itsme29 2/1/2014 7:57:28 AM Report

I dunno what clown comes up with these articles. last summer we had more rain then ever, all the inland lakes were beyond flood stage when they froze over meaning in the spring when they thaw they will be overflowing anywhere possible..most of these lakes already run out to supperiour maybe not directly but they all do in one way or another... weve had more snow this winter hten weve had in years..smarten up people if superior is low theres an issue with someone redirecting the water
thefly22 2/1/2014 8:12:47 AM Report

Talking to a Brookfield employee last night, I found out that most hydro dams are operating. When winter hit the ground was saturated from all the rain we got last year. The spring runoff should be interesting if we keep getting snow this winter. Looks like the lakes will rise in the spring at least.
bugalugs 2/1/2014 9:52:31 AM Report

The U S is taking the water down south people...then the Nestle bottle water is taking buckets and selling it to you....stop buying it! Let's investigate and make public the decisions this joint committee is making with our water! Then you will know the truth of it!
edz 2/1/2014 10:09:01 AM Report

what is happening to brain cells around here? Must be something in the water.
Mopar 2/1/2014 10:19:17 AM Report

12 inch rise is 6.6 trillion gallons of water. There are 7.7 trillion gallons of water in lake ontario according to
Mopar 2/1/2014 10:22:47 AM Report

The title of this story is misleading (or just plain wrong). Levels are way up from last year and levels will continue to follow seasonal averages. Last year we were 13 inches below the average and this year we are 1 inch below average. I am no Einstein but to me that means levels are rising.
Lone24 2/1/2014 1:38:46 PM Report

Thats' what I think too,quit selling our water to other countries and ours wouldn't be depleting like it is.
Nunavut 2/1/2014 3:45:44 PM Report

you folks that are worried about the bottled water sales effecting the levels, need to get that in perspective compared to the much larger diversions.
It is like being worried about your heat loss in your house and focussing on the drafty window, when you have the patio door wide open.
The man made Chicago diversion (to Mississipi) decades ago and the dredging of the ST Clair has more additional water flow thru them in a day than what bottles water sales does in a year. But the freight and state lobbiests like that we remain distracted with bottled water and supposed climate change while they take advantage of the diversions and or avoid the costs to reverse these man made huge errors to this interlinked body of fresh water. Unfortunately they kept us distracted while Superior was used for decacades to keep the rest of the lakes downstream at reasonable levels for their shorelines etc. But the final lake is starting to show the impacts . I suspect this spring will be short repreive that keeps us distracted while the USA does nothing once again to fix the problrms they made. Canada must enforce some backbone and make demands !
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