Wells run dry

A recent study by Michigan State University's Water Resource Institute shows that Ottawa County's major groundwater source - called the Marshall aquifer - is drying up.
Alex Doty
Nov 9, 2012

“We are drawing out water and the aquifer is slowly declining, and it’s not being recharged fast enough,” Ottawa County Planning Director Mark Knudsen said. “We are essentially mining the aquifer.”

According to the study, there is a very thick and compact clay-like shell around Ottawa 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.

“The Marshall goes down through the middle two-thirds of the county,” Knudsen said. “That’s where a majority of the water wells pump from.”

Knudsen hopes the MSU study sparks measures that ensure the water resource doesn't dry up.

“This can show what can happen if we don’t modify our practices with withdrawals,” Knudsen said.

There are other concerns associated with it.

“Because we’re mining this aquifer, we are seeing higher chloride levels over time,” Knudsen said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

 

 

Comments

Captain Obvious

Same thing with Lakes Michigan and Huron. It is time that we had the Federal Government and Canadian Government put a Dam across the St Clair River with a lock for Freighters and Ore Boats and Pleasure Craft. That way we could maintain better control of the water levels in the two lakes. Would cost about the same as 3 days of war in Afghanistan and save countless communities millions of dollars annually in dredging fees as we chase the lake downward. A real money saving long term investment. I don't really care why it is happening. We need to do something about it.

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