Lake Superior water levels drop by nearly 30 cm compared to a year ago

CBC News

Lake Superior’s water level is 7 cm lower than average over the past century

Despite a wetter-than-average December, water levels on Lake Superior are nearly 30 centimetres lower than a year ago, according to an organization that monitors lake levels.

The International Lake Superior Board of Control said Lake Superior water levels in January are 28 centimetres below levels recorded a year ago, and seven centimetres lower than the long-term average between 1918 and 2020.

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Shelley Psikla, who lives on the shore of the lake in northwestern Ontario, said the lake has been low for some time at her home in Shuniah.

There was no place to put the boat at the dock, she said, adding there was no water.

"This summer, it was even worse," Psikla said. "It just lowered and lowered. And as the fall approached, it is literally a sandbar."

(CBC/Shelley Psikla) Lake Superior Low Water Levels

Water levels at Shelley Psikla's home on Lake Superior have dropped severely in recent months. The International Lake Superior Board of Control said water levels on the lake in January 2022 are 28 centimetres lower than a year ago. (Submitted by Shelley Psikla)

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Psilka has lived on the lake for a decade, and said three years ago, the water level was so high "you had to step up into your boat from the dock."

Last year, the water level had dropped by about 45 centimetres, she said.

"Obviously when you live on the waterfront, you want the water there, and you want to be able to participate in all of the wonderful water sports that are available to us," Psikla said. "When you can't put ... your jet ski or your boat anything right at your own dock and in front of your home, it's a big concern."

(CBC/Shelley Psikla) Lake Superior Normal Water Levels

The dock at Shelley Psikla's property on Lake Superior when water levels were higher. (Submitted by Shelley Psikla)

The board said in a media release issued this week that Lake Superior water levels typically drop by as much as 10 centimetres in January.

The board said Lake Superior declined two centimetres in December, less than the average December drop of eight centimetres.

This story was originally published by CBC News on January 20, 2022.