More water lost in the St.Clair River than is needed in some Great Lakes communities

06Feb12

This is another graphic on the Great Lakes series that I did with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2005. The graphic illustrates the substantial amount of water lost in the St. Clair River which separates Michigan, U.S.A. from Ontario, Canada: 845 million gallons a day, according to a study. That is much more water than is needed by some Great Lakes communities, including those that do not have access to Great Lakes water.

One of those communities is the city of Waukesha in Wisconsin (population 65,000), which lies just west of the subcontinental divide that determines whether a jurisdiction can access Great Lakes water ā€” in Waukesha’s case, water from Lake Michigan.

For an up-close look at this graphic, please click here: St. Clair PDF

In simple terms, the subcontinental divide is a natural formation of hard rock that delineates the boundary of the water basin. In Wisconsin, the divide posts a natural barrier to communities west of it, such as Waukesha, from gaining access to Lake Michigan water, which is otherwise available to places east of the divide, such as the city of Milwaukee.

Given that 845 million gallons of water is lost in the St. Clair River ā€” very much like a giant bathtub which drain plug has been pulled out ā€” communities in need of access to Great Lakes water are putting up a strong case for them, too, to be allowed to dip into the well. Waukesha makes a compelling case to be heard because it is one of many Southeast Wisconsin communities that have to deal with radium in their water. The region’s water table has been pumped dry over the decades, so much so that the water pumps suck out of the ground is laced with radium, a toxic chemical that can cause all sorts of heart problems to drinkers.

Graphic by Alfred Elicierto. Published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in February 2005.

 

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Also in this blog:
Re-engineering the heart
Turning back the Asian carp
Navigating the Seaway locks
How the Penumbra system works
The beginnings of the Amazon

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One Response to “More water lost in the St.Clair River than is needed in some Great Lakes communities”

  1. Whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your articles. Stay up the good paintings! You know, many people are hunting around for this information, you could aid them greatly.


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