Changing water levels in the Great Lakes—and bodies of water that feed from the lakes such as Georgian Bay—cause social, economic and environmental impacts. Changing water levels affect:

  • Access to water for lakefront property owners
  • Recreational boating, fishing and other tourism activities
  • Commercial shipping
  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Habitat for aquatic species
  • Rural groundwater usage for drinking and irrigation

Read a Case Book for Georgian Bay to learn how low water levels are directly impacting communities and businesses in our municipality.

Next steps

In response to low water levels, various steering committees came together to create action plans and lobby upper-tier governments. Groups included local municipal members, provincial ministries, scientists, researchers and environmental organizations. Visit Georgian Bay Association or Georgian Bay Forever for impact assessments and proposed solutions.

Ontario's Great Lakes Strategy

The Province of Ontario created Ontario's Great Lake Strategy as a roadmap to help restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes. The strategy focuses on empowering action by all partners on the Great Lakes—from provincial ministries to local service clubs—and on restoring Great Lakes water, beaches and coastal areas. It aims to conserve biodiversity and deal with invasive species. The strategy supports science to guide our Great Lakes work and addresses the need for climate change adaptation.

Trent-Severn Waterway

Parks Canada's water management team monitors water levels and flows across the Trent-Severn Waterway. These factors are used to determine dam operations on a daily basis for the waterway. Visit their Water Management InfoNet for more information.

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