May 8 premiere set for video on White Bear Lake's decline

A documentary video on the big decline in White Bear Lake’s water level will get its first public airing at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 8.

The video – “Where is the Water in White Bear Lake” —  was directed and produced by Amy Okaya, a resident of White Bear Township. It was funded, in part, by the Ramsey/Washington County Suburban Cable Commission.

“I made this film to stimulate broader public engagement in water issues by presenting the story of White Bear Lake in a more personal way,” Okaya said in a news release announcing the premier of the video.

Gene Merriam, the Freshwater Society’s former president, was interviewed for the video.

The lake’s water level has declined about 4.5 feet since mid-2004. View a Department of Natural Resources graph showing the decline. Research led by the U.S. Geological Survey blamed the decline on municipal pumping from the groundwater aquifer beneath the lake.

Okaya invited White Bear-area residents and other people concerned about the over-use of groundwater and the decline of lakes in the northeast metro area to attend the showing Thursday evening.

The 30-minute video will be shown in the White Bear Country Inn, 4940 Highway 61 in White Bear Lake.

Following the initial public showing, the video will be shown on the Suburban Cable commission’s Channel 15. It also will be available on YouTube.