Study planned on adapting to changing water levels

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan is planning a wide-ranging study of how people in the Great Lakes region can adapt to changing water levels.

Great-Lakes-Levels Sidd

FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2012 file photo, Jim Simons walks along a sand bar, exposed by low water levels on the Portage Lake channel that leads to Lake Michigan at Onekama, Mich. University of Michigan scientists are expected to announce Thursday, March 27, 2014, that they will conduct a wide-ranging study on how Great Lakes communities can adapt to fluctuating water levels. Great Lakes levels fluctuate seasonally and have experienced multi-year ups and downs. (AP Photo/John Flesher, File)

Don Scavia of the university's Graham Sustainability Institute announced the study Thursday in Ann Arbor at the conclusion of a seminar on the topic for scientists, policymakers and advocates.

It will be modeled after a broad analysis that university experts conducted last year on the natural gas extraction process known as "fracking."

Great Lakes levels fluctuate with the seasons and over longer periods. They've risen substantially in the past year after a sustained low period, but it's uncertain how long the comeback will continue.

Scavia says that shoreline property owners, communities and businesses need to accept that lake levels will not remain stable and make necessary adjustments.