Current State: Michigan’s groundwater at risk

The Great Lakes’ record-low water levels are rightly receiving all of the attention now, but evidence is growing that Michigan’s fragile groundwater resources are quietly becoming a concern for the future. Robert Glennon, professor of law and public policy at the University of Arizona and author of “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What to do About It,” knows Michigan well and shares his insights. Echo has reported on the consequences of drought on Great Lakes groundwater – which can also be seen on this map – and the challenge of measuring its effects. The need for better groundwater conservation continues to be a widely overlooked issue facing the Basin.  

When in Drought: Satellites show low Great Lakes groundwater

The drought plaguing the country continues to sap the groundwater and soil water of the Great Lakes region, according to new NASA satellite data. The two maps, constructed using data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites, show low near-surface and subterranean water levels across the region between January 8 and 14, 2013. These satellites have been used to examine surface soil and ground water levels since they were launched in 2002. While not as low as some areas of the southeast or west, much of the region remains below the 1948-2009 average. Average levels are denoted by white space on the maps, while above-average is blue and below-average appears red.

Drought’s a Grinch – years from now

The drought of 2012 will affect Christmas tree farmers in the Great Lakes eight to nine years from now.

That’s because the dry landscape was bad for planting new trees.

Michigan ranks only behind Oregon and North Carolina in the national tree market.