Shrinking White Bear Lake has a city ...

Shrinking White Bear Lake has a city scratching its head

There are 169 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Aug 13, 2010, titled Shrinking White Bear Lake has a city scratching its head. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

The parched state of the lake is an everyday topic in the city of White Bear Lake.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

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MikeWBL

Saint Paul, MN

#169 Sep 25, 2010
This is a good summary of the DNR Panel discusion. However, the DNR was overly simplist in their 1998 analysis, i.e. just wait til we receive above average rainfall.

Two weeks later the WBL Conservation District Board reviewed an independent study that stated the aquifer appears to be at a high level. This begs the logical questions: Why is the lake level down by 5.5 feet if the aquifer is at a high level? What has really happened over the last 2-4 years if the aguifer is at a high level?

WB resident wrote:
Below is the same thing I said in my own way for free. read my previous posts.
This is accurate and reflects a fair assessment of situation and can be relied on.
Get over it, deal with it, adapt.
The Minnesota DNR has conducted a detailed study of the White Bear Lake and groundwater system (MN DNR 1998). Principal findings include:
Lake level fluctuations are strongly correlated with aquifer fluctuations.
Groundwater augmentation resulted in increased lake levels.
Groundwater augmentation increased water loss from the lake to the aquifer.
Groundwater augmentation is not 100% efficient, and may be as low as 14% efficient. In the extreme, this means that for every 100 gallons pumped into the lake, 14 gallons stay in the lake.
Increases in lake levels from pumping are short-lived, about one year.
A lake level control structure at the lake’s outlet has been modified since the early 1930s or 1940s to maintain higher lake levels.
Lake level augmentation appeared to provide some benefit
in terms of short-term lake level increases during low water levels. However, because of a change in state policy that prevents lake level augmentation from groundwater aquifers as well as the lack of any other feasible solutions, the prospect of lake level augmentation should not be further considered at this time.
The recharge area - the area that supplies the aquifer - for the aquifer supporting the level of White Bear Lake extends beyond the surface watershed, especially to the north and east of White Bear Lake. Future urban development of the recharge area could pose a threat to the lake’s water supply if there are significant water withdrawals from the aquifer. Constructing new wells as well as the increase in hard surface which usually accompanies urbanization would reduce recharge of the aquifer thereby exacerbating lake level fluctuations. Because of these concerns, it makes sense to identify the critical recharge areas and work to assure that they are protected as before urbanization occurs.
Finally, it is noted that lake use conflicts are intensified when the lake level is low. While we have learned that we cannot mitigate this situation, we should provide relief during low water levels.
As water demands increase the aquifer is depleted so it seem to be both natural and man made.
Jeff Clearee

Portland, OR

#171 Jul 31, 2013
Maybe we need to link some lakes together creating a chain of lakes.
Joe Blow

Minneapolis, MN

#172 Aug 1, 2013
I think that the RICH should be REQUIRED to bring one gallon of water home every day and dump it into the lake. It is the fault of the RICH and they should do something about it. The burden of filling the lake with water should not fall on the Poor. The Rich have been the primary recipients of the long time beauty and have been prosperous and become RICH when the lake had water in it. Therefore the RICH should be responsible for getting the Lake back to the water levels of the 70's. Simple task. If the RICH bring home water from the water fountains where they work, one gallon at a time, this problem will be resolved quickly.
Mike

Omaha, NE

#173 Sep 2, 2013
Sarah D wrote:
<quoted text>
You misunderstand. White Bear Lake, that is the lake itself called White Bear Lake is in serious trouble. The other lakes near to White Bear Lake still maintain a reasonable level.
That is why the suburb of White Bear Lake is bewildered so much. The other lakes aren't shrinking like White Bear Lake is. In fact a lake right next to White Bear Lake looks just fine.
So obviously something specific is happening to cause such a drastic lowering of White Bear Lake, which is sad in and of itself. But the other lakes in the state are doing just fine (well as fine as could be expected after a really hot summer but they have experienced that before so THEY aren't a serious problem.
The reason the water level in the lake is dropping is that a few years ago they re-routed the water from the storm drains away from the lake, the water has been dropping ever since.
Mike

Omaha, NE

#174 Sep 2, 2013
MikeWBL wrote:
This is a good summary of the DNR Panel discusion. However, the DNR was overly simplist in their 1998 analysis, i.e. just wait til we receive above average rainfall.
Two weeks later the WBL Conservation District Board reviewed an independent study that stated the aquifer appears to be at a high level. This begs the logical questions: Why is the lake level down by 5.5 feet if the aquifer is at a high level? What has really happened over the last 2-4 years if the aguifer is at a high level?
<quoted text>
QUOTE]

The reason the water level in the lake is dropping is that a few years ago they re-routed the water from the storm drains away from the lake, the water has been dropping ever since.
NoNNa

Garden City, MI

#175 Sep 2, 2013
I am very interested to find out the strategy as to the latest plan to use river to replenish water source ~~
Reality check

Federal Way, WA

#176 Sep 4, 2013
The lake level didn't drop because of rerouted storm drains and there is no river to replenish the water. White Bear is fed by under ground springs coming from the Prairie Jordan aquifer. Permits to use that ground water have doubled in the last 25 or so years depleting the aquifer and causing the lake water to be sucked under ground.

The Public Trust doctrine does not apply to groundwater. Therefor the powers who approve permits granting rights to groundwater via the Prarie Jordan aquifer are not legally liable for sucking the lake dry.
NoNNa

Garden City, MI

#177 Sep 4, 2013
Well watch the news,,, USING RIVER IS LATEST STRATEGY ~~
Reality check

Federal Way, WA

#178 Sep 4, 2013
If you think the cut from Bald Eagle will fix this, then you would steal from Peter to pay Paul.

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