Is multi lake regulation a feasible or even a good idea?

Publication Date: 
November 25, 2011

Bill Bialkowski, an engineer with extensive professional expertise dealing with flow dynamics, reviews the International Joint Commission's summary of multi-lake management for the Great Lakes and poses some interesting questions.

(To see the report & graphs you must click on the Attachment link below)

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IJC ’93 Level Reference Study Chapter 4

Note by Bill Bialkowski, 25 November, 2011,

The 1993 IJC Level Reference Study was the largest study ever conducted by the IJC on water levels ($20m). It came after two significant events. 1) The completion in 1977 of sill designs for the St. Clair River (SCR) to compensate for the dredging up to 1962, and 2) the 1974 high water followed by the record setting high water of 1986. This second event guaranteed that nothing would be done to compensate the SCR as Orders for Approval and funding were withdrawn. With the IUGLS’s 2009 ‘do nothing’ recommendation, and the flawed 2011 Restoration Report, some Georgian Bay people are claiming that the IUGLB is now ‘in favour’ of recommending multi lake regulation based on comments at public meetings.

This is almost incomprehensible in light of the 1993 IJC Levels Reference Study. Full five-lake regulation is in our view a “rotten carrot” that is being held out by the IUGLSB. Pasted below is a copy of the 1993 IJC LRS Chapter 4 (multi-lake regulation).

Multi-lake regulation (five- lake & three-lake) requires massive dredging and or blasting of  all of the connecting channels and the St Lawrence River, and in particular: the SCR, the Detroit River (DR) and the head of the Niagara River (NR) to provide the needed flow capacity to move the flood water experienced in 1986 out of the system. After the dredging, control structures are needed to hold the water back in adjustable amounts under normal conditions. Four structures were designed for the SCR, five for the DR, and one for the head of the NR (see Page 37).

(To see the report & graphs you must click on the Attachment link below)

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