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Closeup of beads of water on a leaf

Water Quantity

Extreme precipitation across the Great Lakes has increased by 35 percent over the past 65 years, causing lake levels to fluctuate at unprecedented rates. Meanwhile, studies have shown that by 2025, half of the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas. These changes in water quantity have devastated coastal communities and afflicted farmers who rely on water to produce crops. Researchers at the University of Michigan are working closely with community partners to explore pressing issues that impact water quantity, which affect everything from water quality, fish and wildlife to shipping, tourism and recreation.

News and Impact

Colorado River flowing through a canyon
The southwest must fight for its water and its future
Thwaites glacier. Image credit: NASA/James Yungel
‘Doomsday Glacier’ may be more stable than initially feared
In the journal Nature Food, researchers from the University of Michigan and Tulane University present a “water scarcity footprint” that measures the water-use impacts of U.S. diets, taking into account regional variations in water scarcity. Image credit: Dave Brenner, U-M School for Environment and Sustainability
Water scarcity footprint reveals impacts of individual dietary choices in US
sandcastles with waves in the background
Great Lakes Water Levels
Old dock visible because of low water level
The dynamic nature of the Great Lakes system
A Hanover Street resident surveys the damage along Currier Street in Dearborn Heights on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 as Dearborn Heights firefighters rescue a family from their flooded home. (Photo: Max Ortiz, The Detroit News)
Opinion: Wave of flooding a wake-up call
Collage of Great Lakes Water Level related images
NOAA - Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Apostle Island Ice Caves on the shores of Lake Superior
Great Lakes ice cover forecasts: New approach enables local predictions
 Snow cores get carried back to the lab in plastic bags. Photo by Marcin Szczepanski
From the Edge of the Arctic