LOW WATER IN THE GREAT LAKES.
There may or there may not be any truth, or only a modicum of truth in the cry about low water in the great lakes. It is asserted by many that the cry is based on reality, and that the level of the lakes should be raised by building a big dam on the Niagara river, presumably at the Black Rock rapids, opposite Buffalo, N. Y. It is proposed to organise an international committee to consider the question. So far, as the mere building of the dam and raising the level are concerned there would be no difficulty, nor would the work at Buffalo be anything beyond the ordinary. But the change in the level would make simply enormous bills of damages. Private property worth hundreds of millions would be destroyed. It is by no means certain that the natural level of the lakes” has been reduced. Imagination has so pictured it ; but experience hardly seems to bear the statement out. A prevalence of easterly winds, after a long drought, has often made St. Lawrence navigation impracticable for the ordinary steamers, and left the American Falls at Niagara nearly dry. And periods of low water extending through several years have been known, only to be followed by a period of high water. The diffi4culty of the case is that statistics for more that 100 years are not available, and for even that period are notoriously defective in parts.