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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Despite the heat and stifling humidity, this afternoon I ventured up to White Bear Lake, an established suburban community 10 miles north of St. Paul. It's history began as a Victorian resort town when it was connected via streetcar to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Today it's a vibrant and upscale area with neatly-manicured homes and fancy shops downtown.

The strangest thing about the town in the last several years has been the lake's bizarre and unexplainable water-level drop of more than five feet (1.5 meters). Five feet may not seem like much, but you will see in my photos just how low the water has receded, with grass growing on the exposed lakebed and sandbars in the middle of the lake. Even a very, very wet 2011 has not provided a significant water-level rise and it's yet to be determined if there's a solution.

White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Population: 23,797
July 31, 2011















































 

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Thanks again for the photos!

I remember reading something about that lake. There's no such thing as a hydraulics problem that's unexplainable - it's just whether people want to hear the answer. :) I think there's a growing belief that it's not precip-related so much as due to pumping of the surrounding aquifer, which is then re-filled by the lake. It seems like a common sense possibility, at least, to an engineer looking at it from far away. Probably why it took a couple of undergrads to point it out! (http://www.ce.umn.edu/news/stories/white_bear_lake_water_level.html) Here's an article from a month after that one from the university, sort of indirectly conceding, I think, that those students might have had a point - http://www.presspubs.com/articles/2011/07/27/white_bear_press/news/doc4e2f3625cfcaf910741737.txt. I think you Minnesota folks just aren't used to dealing with problems of not-enough-water. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the additional info on the issue, bunt. That's an interesting hypothesis. While an over-pumped aquifer could very well be the cause, why isn't this occurring in other lakes nearby? There are hundreds of lakes just right here in the Twin Cities area. It seems very strange this sort of phenomenon isn't wreaking havoc all over East Central Minnesota.

In any case, you're right. Minnesotans are spoiled with an abundance and seemingly never-ending supply of water and freak out once it starts disappearing. :)
 

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You never here much about 'sota like you do Colorado or Montana for their skiing mountains, or new Mexico and Utah for their national parks. But Minnesota does have it's hidden gems, I've got some family out here.
 

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Nice thread.....charming town, thanks for the beautiful pics.:cheers1:
 

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Nice thread. That last shot is killer, I think it is one of your best ones.

You never here much about 'sota like you do Colorado or Montana for their skiing mountains, or new Mexico and Utah for their national parks. But Minnesota does have it's hidden gems, I've got some family out here.
It's our secret.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You never here much about 'sota like you do Colorado or Montana for their skiing mountains, or new Mexico and Utah for their national parks. But Minnesota does have it's hidden gems, I've got some family out here.
To be fair, one generally never hears about New Mexico, Utah, or Montana, either. :)
 
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