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Adapted from the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study


WATER LEVEL- The elevation of the surface of the water of a lake or at a particular site on the River. The elevation is measured with respect to average sea level. Several different types of water levels are used in the Study. In the case of Lake Ontario, the water level is assumed to be the calm water level without wind effects or waves included. In the erosion and flood analysis, these wind effects are added to the calm water level. Many of the analyses done in the Study use the quarter-monthly mean water level. This is the average water level that would occur during a quarter-month period (approximately a week).

WATER SUPPLY- Water reaching the Great Lakes as a direct result of precipitation, less evaporation from land and lake surfaces.

WATER USES TECHNICAL WORK GROUP- A technical and scientific team of the Study that is investigating impacts of water level variations on industrial, municipal, and domestic water intakes and treatment facilities.

WATERFOWL- Birds that are ecologically dependant on wetlands for their food, shelter and reproduction.

WATERSHED; BASIN -The region or area of which the surface waters and groundwater ultimately drain into a particular course or body of water.

WAVE- An oscillatory movement in a body of water which results in an alternate rise and fall of the surfaces.

WAVE CREST- The highest part of a wave.

WAVE DIRECTION -The direction from which a wave approaches.

WAVE PERIOD- The time for two successive wave crests to pass a fixed point.

WEATHER- The meteorological condition of the atmosphere defined by the measurement of the six main meteorological elements: air temperature, barometric pressure, wind velocity, humidity, clouds, and precipitation.

WEIGHTED SUITABLE AREA (WSA)- The aggregate sum of the areas within a region, or larger area, that have been weighted by habitat suitabilities (see Habitat Suitability Index).

WETLAND -An area characterized by wet soil and high biologically productivity, providing an important habitat for waterfowl, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

WETLAND OBLIGATE BIRD SPECIES- Birds that require wetland habitats for breeding purposes (such as nesting and/or food sources).

WETLANDS- (marshes, swamps, bogs, and fens) -lands where the water table is at, near or above the land surface long enough each year to support the formation of hydric soils and to support the growth of hydrophytes, as long as other environmental variables are favorable.

WILLINGNESS TO PAY (WTP)- The maximum amount that a consumer will pay for a given item or service.

  • Background

Learn more about the history of regulating water levels and flows on Lake Ontario

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