"We do know we have a problem, and we do know that it is critical in some areas and less in others," County Planner Mark Knudsen said. "We do know that we are removing more water than is being replenished."
A study by Michigan State University's Water Resource Institute shows that Ottawa County's major groundwater source — called the Marshall aquifer — is drying up.
According to the MSU study, there is a very thick and compact clay-like shell around the county. This makes it challenging for water to permeate and recharge the aquifer.
The Marshall sandstone is one of two aquifer sources in Ottawa County. It resembles a ring centered in the middle of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.
To help further the county's knowledge of the issue, officials say they'll conduct better research to get a handle on it.
"It will be much more in-depth, with calculated models of the flow of water," Knudsen said. "It's going to be a $300,000 to $400,000 study."
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.