How would Mounds Lake change the landscape — literally and figuratively — of surrounding communities and rural areas of Madison and Delaware counties?

Since the reservoir proposal was first made public in 2013, proponents and opponents have waged a war of words over the prospect of damming the White River on the east side of Anderson to create a 2,100 acre lake extending seven miles to Yorktown.

Supporters of the project, which would cost an estimated $440 million, say it would boost the local economy while providing a needed water source for central Indiana. Detractors argue that it would spoil a stretch of the White River, damage the environment, threaten historic sites, fail to hold water and be a colossal waste of money.

Some opponents contend Mounds Lake would be plagued by algae blooms like those affecting Grand Lake St. Marys reservoir in Celina, Ohio. Proponents maintain the local reservoir would more closely resemble southeastern Indiana’s Brookville Lake, surrounded by a mostly pristine landscape, complete with marinas and walking trails.

The Herald Bulletin recently visited Grand Lake St. Marys and Brookville Lake to provide an overview of the two and draw comparisons to the Mounds proposal.

Officials, business owners and residents in Ohio and southern Indiana communities were asked about benefits and problems associated with Grand Lake St. Marys and Brookville Lake, steps to improve water quality and the lakes’ impact on the local economy.

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