Speakers: Jim Michler, Carl Watras, and Emily Heald
Water budgets and lake level changes
Water budgets explain how lake levels change over the years, and help us to predict the effects of climate change on lake levels. Water budgets were created for two inland seepage lakes for the open water period in 2020. This was done using low cost instrumentation suitable for use by citizen scientists. Our instruments monitored lake level, evaporation, and precipitation directly for each lake. Of the rainfall into the lakes, most evaporated from the lake surface, some seeped into the groundwater, and a small amount changed the lake level. A small change in the balance between precipitation and evaporation can cause a large change in lake level.