Martin H. David, Erhard F. Joeres, Eric D. Loucks, Kenneth W. Potter, Stuart S. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: Water level fluctuations of the Great Lakes often have created regional controversies among the states and Canadian provinces that share this vast resource. Even though the 100‐year range of their water levels is only four to five feet, episodes of high and low Great Lakes water levels have been a recurring problem throughout the twentieth century. The possibility of increased diversion and consumptive use has exacerbated the existing conflicts over how to manage this water resource. A research project evaluated the effects of interbasin diversion on the Great Lakes system and on the industries that depend on the maintenance of historical water levels, namely hydropower and commercial navigation. The simulation approach employed in this research and some of the important findings are presented. The approach is similar to that used in recent government studies of Great Lakes water level regulation. Several significant modifications were made specifically addressing the diversion issue. Aggregate annual impacts to hydropower and shipping resulting from a diversion of 10,000 cubic feet per second were found to vary from 60 to 100 million dollars. Increases in impacts as a function of diversion rate are nonlinear for the navigation industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalJAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Great Lakes
  • diversions
  • hydropower
  • navigation
  • simulation
  • water levels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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