Low Water Likely in Great Lakes

DETROIT, May 12 (UPI) — Water levels in the Great Lakes are expected to drop this summer because of a dry winter and spring, hydrologists say.

That is likely to mean more luxuriant algae growth in Lake Erie, the shallowest of the five, waterfront property where the house is many feet farther from the water and navigation problems for recreational boaters, The Detroit News reports.

Shippers could be hard hit with vessels having to cut their loads because of shallower channels. Glen Nekvasil, vice president of corporate communications for the Lake Carriers’ Association, said an inch less draft means cutting 270 tons of cargo for the largest ships, while smaller ones must cut their loads by 70 to 80 tons.

“It’s just another challenge for us in what’s already a very challenging time,” he said.

In 2007 water levels in Lake Superior dropped to a record low, and Lake Huron and Lake Michigan were close to a record. In the past two years, however, the trend has been upward.

On the Canadian side of Lake Huron, Georgian Bay residents blame the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, saying that dredging decades ago caused water to move more quickly out of the lake. A study last year for the International Joint Commission cleared the Corps of blame.

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