Lowering the Water Level in Lake Michigan – Darn Near Impossible
Lake Michigan's water level is higher than normal - by a lot. It's starting to be a real problem. You've seen the stories - the erosion of beaches and land under houses. According to this week's U.S. Army Corps of Engineers press release, the water level of Lake Michigan is about 39 inches higher than the historical average. On the other side of the lake, someone posed the question, "Is there anything we can do to lower the level of the lake?"
Short answer - no.
According to a story from WGN-TV, in the last few years, there's been too much rain and not enough evaporation. It takes about 400 billion gallons draining out of the lake to lower it by one inch. About 2 billion gallons goes down the Chicago River every day into the Mississippi and that's not doing much to lower the level. By comparison, in 2017, all the bottled water consumed in the U.S. added up to around 14 billion gallons. So we can't drink it away. It's up to Mother Nature to take care of this problem.
And here's a fun fact: Lake Michigan holds ONE QUADRILLION gallons of water.
That's a thousand trillion gallons. Sit in the dark sometime and mull that number over. And that's just Lake Michigan.