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Great Lakes study group to meet in Superior tonight

Duluth, Minn. -- An international board studying Great Lakes water levels meets in Superior, Wis., tonight.

The International Upper Great Lakes Study is updating regulations for water control structures, such as power dams and control gates at the southeastern end of Lake Superior, and is trying to deal with fluctuating Great Lakes levels, which affect shipping and property owners.

"The driving factor, especially over the last ten years, in determining lake levels in the upper Great Lakes, is climate," said spokesman John Nevin. "Climate affects the water supply available to Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie. And what we've found was that there's generally been a drought - so less rainfall and snow in Michigan, Huron and Superior, and more rainfall and snow in Erie."

A final proposal will be drawn up this fall.

Nevin says it could call for new measures to regulate water levels; or it could determine that nature should be allowed to take its course.

Public comments can be made Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior.