Wellntel is measuring water level changes in McKinley Marina, a mooring basin within Milwaukee Harbor on Lake Michigan. The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, a not-for-profit community based sailing organization, is hosting Wellntel and providing access to the marina and supporting the Wellntel sensor platform.
Monitoring lake levels is a new area for Wellntel. While we mostly focus on water under the ground, this application, and others like it, help to demonstrate the flexibility of the Wellntel system and its ability to be re-purposed for a wide variety of valuable uses. Joe Fillingham, Wellntel Science Lead and MCSC sailing instructor will be tracking water level changes throughout the summer and will present findings to Sailing Center members and the public this fall.
Lake levels change due to seasonal impacts, seiches, and pressure changes and wind associated with storms and weather fronts. Water levels of the Great Lakes are an important indication of climate and hydrological change. In addition, shipping, recreational boating, and shoreline bluff erosion can be dramatically impacted by lake levels.
Currently Lake Michigan-Huron is at its highest level since the late 1990s following a period of record low lake levels. For more information on Great Lakes water levels visit the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory Great Lakes Water Levels website and the NOAA Great Lakes Hydro-Climate Dashboard.