A final report on the first phase of U.S. Geological Survey research on White Bear Lake is now available.
The report echoes earlier preliminary findings that groundwater pumping around the lake appears to be the biggest cause of a decade-long decline in the lake’s water level. A USGS news release announcing the release of the report says:
“Annual and summer groundwater withdrawals from the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer more than doubled from 1980 through 2010. Study results indicated groundwater withdrawals had a greater effect than precipitation on water levels in the White Bear Lake area since 2003. The recent (2003–2011) decline in White Bear Lake reflects the declining water levels in the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer.
“Groundwater-level and lake-level measurements during the study indicate groundwater was potentially flowing into White Bear Lake from glacial aquifers to the northeast and south, and lake water was potentially discharging from White Bear Lake to the glacial aquifer in other areas as well as to the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer. Groundwater levels in the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer underlying White Bear Lake are approximately 0 to 19 feet lower than surface-water levels in the lake.”
Read the full report.