Lake Michigan Water Levels Hit Record Low: Report

Summer drought and dry winter contributed to the receding shoreline

Water levels in Lake Michigan are falling to record numbers.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said lake levels hit an all-time low for October and the shores will continue to dry up, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The receding shoreline is a result of the summer drought combined with this year's dry winter, according to the Tribune.

Lakes Michigan and Huron both dipped below their long-term average in the late 1990s and continued to drop, raising concerns over the Great Lakes becoming a consistently diminishing resource of fresh water, Tribune reported.

Executive Director of the Great Lakes Commission, Tim Eder, told the publication there was a need to be concerned, but it was important to note water levels have always fluctuated.

But determining when the waters will fluctuate back is reportedly tricky and unpredictable.

Army Corps of Engineers can forecast lake levels for up to six months, but the numbers can change according to a U.S. and Canadian joint study on the unpredictability of the water levels in the lakes, the report stated.

Meanwhile the lower levels continue to affect businesses relying on large cargo-carrying ships to transport their merchandise. The Tribune reported ships must lighten their loads and some companies reported losing about 1,500 tons of cargo space to accommodate the new shallow waters.

During the Race to the Mackinac in July, water was so shallow in Lake Huron that not all boats could fit into the Mackinac Island municipal marina, the report stated.

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