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Are the water levels in White Bear Lake rising or falling? What is causing that?

White Bear Lake Water Levels.. Dropping or Rising? By: Sara Rajtar

March 18, 2016

The first reason that this issue needs to be fixed is because it is affecting the residents who are living on the lake. If other residents surrounding White Bear Lake use their sprinkler system it is using the precious water that needs to go into the aquifer. If these residents clean, do laundry, or use anything that has to do with water, they are using the lake water. "The key is not so much the rise, but the fact that the low this year was not as low as the low last year, or the low before,"said Jason Moeckel, DNR Manager of Monitoring/Analysis Section. "So, what we are seeing is an upward trend. Historically, it is about 1.8 feet below its long-term average and it is about 1.4 feet above where it had been for the last couple of years or its lowest low." Less people are using the lake for recreation because of its smaller size and they are worried about shallow areas.  Bait shops are feeling the lower population of fisherman due to less amount of bait given to fishermen and uncertain structures in the lake. Also, there is less family recreation due to Ramsey County beach being closed since 2008.  White Bear Lake has been a tourist attraction due to its lake for many years. Winter fisherman are also having a difficult time with a receding shoreline to get out and fish where they want to.
White Bear Lake levels continues to be a heated dispute. Water levels on White Bear Lake were reported by Allen Costantini, KARE 8:06 p.m. EDT on June 22, 2015. We need to fix this important problem because Barb Naramore, assistant DNR commissioner stated,“The agency still disputes that position”. White Bear Lake’s historically fluctuating levels are important to its ecology”, she said. She added that the DNR’s own hydrology expert has concluded that the lake’s decline is likely climate-related. The reason the water is going up is because with 2.85 million people in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, just a quarter of the region's water comes from surface waters. The rest is pulled from groundwater sources.  One of the main aquifers are the Prairie du Chien-Jordan which is  several hundred feet underground, and flows from taps in places like White Bear Lake, Woodbury, Cottage Grove and Hugo. A lot of water is coming through and being taken out by the aquifer, so they think that is one reason the lake has been going down. All of the  Metropolitan Area shares one aquifer. So much water has been taken out and used for cleaning, watering, showering, etc. The residents on the lake might need that water and they are using much of it because they live right on the lake. If they have boats, or anything in the water, they don’t have anywhere to put it because the water is so low that their boats are almost not in the water! The lake is going down because the developments and the wells are taking water from the aquifers. The lake also has a small watershed.
The third and last reason is that the residents on the lake might need water and this situation needs to be fixed because, “This is a win-win for everyone,”-Crosby Lehmann said.
Shannon Whitaker, a board member of the Homeowners Association, pointed out that the Metropolitan Council itself has been sounding the alarm about pressure on aquifers from suburban development, and that water usage rates are not sustainable in the long term. “White Bear Lake is kind of a canary in the coal mine — it’s a signal of things to come,” she said.
To conclude, The DNR contends that lake levels are coming back up toward previous levels although not on a direct projectory. People would like for it to be changed. The residents of White Bear can try to help by using less water. There are many problems that the residents of White Bear have been noticing, and if this winter comes and the lake is too low to freeze, it will probably melt too early. Next, people who use the lake for winter recreation, will have a hard time getting out to the water because there is such a long shoreline. This is a problem for the cars that drive on the ice too, because if the water is low, they will have to drive further out to get to a place where they can drill holes. . Also, for the snowmobilers such as myself, we will encounter fisherman further out and will have to share the ice further out where the fisherman had not once been.


“White Bear Lake Levels Continue to Be in Dispute.” KARE. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://www.kare11.com/story/news/local/2015/06/22/white-bear-lake-levels-dnr-wblra-wblha-moeckel-evans-mcneely-markoe/29131061/>
“White Bear Lake Settlement Pushes Plan to Divert Water from Mississippi.” Star Tribune. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://www.startribune.com/deal-reached-in-suit-over-white-bear-lake-s-disappearing-water/284350031/>
“White Bear Lake's Water Level Improving.” TwinCities.com. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_28903210/white-bear-lake-rebound>


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  • March 18, 2016 - 10:18am (Now Viewing)

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