The University of Michigan's Graham Sustainability Institute is launching a study to determine how best to help people in the Great Lakes region deal with changing water levels.
Institute Director Donald Scavia said two main areas of concern came out of this week's conference of the Environmental Law and Policy Center at U-of-M: If lake levels keep dropping, how to stop that; and, how to help residents deal with changing water levels.
"And that's what the new Michigan study is going to be all about," Scavia said. "How do we help property owners and industries and others be better prepared to adapt to the varying levels?"
Scavia said an advisory team will be assembled representing the public and private sectors to figure out how to move forward, with a similar team to oversee the effort.
Study teams will spend the next year looking at areas like hydrology, law, policy and economics, with public input sought in a transparent process similar to an on-going study on the controversial natural gas extraction method known as "fracking".
At the conclusion of the study, policy options for varying levels of government and the private sector will be announced.