- Where does Georgian Bay’s water come from and how does it fit with the rest of the Great Lakes?
- Why do water levels change from year to year?
- Is there any way to predict the trends of water levels?
- How do fluctuations in water levels help maintain healthy wetlands and biodiversity?
- What control structures are in place or under consideration to manage GB water levels?
- Who controls the water levels in Georgian Bay?
- What is the International Joint Commission and how do they impact water levels?
- What is GBF’s water levels advocacy strategy?
- Can you help me understand all the terms that are used to explain water levels?
Where does Georgian Bay’s water come from and how does it fit with the rest of the Great Lakes?
All 5 Great Lakes (Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario) are part of one large watershed and are closely connected with each other through various smaller lakes, rivers, and streams. Georgian Bay is located in the Northeastern portion of Lake Huron (Naadowewi-gichigami).At the top of the watershed through about 200 rivers and the Long Lac and Ogoki diversions, water starts its journey in the Great Lakes by flowing into Lake Superior. Lake Superior water flows through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron. Connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, the Straits of Mackinac maintain both lakes’ water levels in a state of near equilibrium. These two combined bodies of water are often referred to hydrologically as one lake - Lake Michigan-Huron. The Chicago Diversion diverts water away from Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes basin into the Upper Mississippi River basin. The St. Clair River drains from Lake Huron into Lake Erie, which then passes water into the Niagara River and over the 100 metre drop at Niagara Falls, flowing into Lake Ontario, and finally, into the St. Lawrence River. From the St. Lawrence River, water eventually empties out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Why do water levels change from year to year?
Is there any way to predict the trends of water levels?
How do fluctuations in water levels help maintain healthy wetlands and biodiversity?
What control structures are in place or under consideration to manage GB water levels?
- In-stream Turbines (Power generating structure): Could be installed on the riverbed of the Upper St. Clair River by the Blue Water Bridge, as well as upstream of the St. Marys River Compensation Works in Lake Superior. By reducing river flow when in operating mode, the turbines impact river hydrodynamics, increasing water levels upstream and decreasing levels downstream, as needs dictate and then when not needed can be feathered or possibly reversed to increase flows producing the opposite effect.
- Inflatable Dams (Flexible control structure): Could be installed in the St. Clair River at Stag and/or Fawn Islands. When the inflated dams are operational, river flow is reduced with a resultant increase in upstream water levels. During higher than desired levels, the dams are deflated to allow for increased river flow.
- Park Fill and Control Gates System (Re-naturalizing): Could be constructed at the mouth of St. Clair River. The proposed structure is composed of two new islands (involving stone revetment, sand fill, topsoil and landscaping) and two flood control gates that will be adjusted, as needed, to reduce river flow and increase upstream water levels. The gates can be opened to allow for increased river flow when water levels are higher than desired. The constructed islands would have positive environmental benefits (e.g., aquatic habitat, fish spawning reef). View the full report.
Who controls the water levels in Georgian Bay?
What is the International Joint Commission and how do they impact water levels?
What is GBF’s water levels advocacy strategy?
Can you help me understand all the terms that are used to explain water levels?
- Runoff (deposit) + Overlake precipitation (deposit) – Overlake evaporation (withdrawal) +/- Flow between lakes can be deposit or withdrawal +/- diversions between lakes can be deposit or withdrawal