USACE Approves Reduced Flows from Lake Lanier
On January 24, 2017, Timothy N. Oberle distributed a press release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District (USACE) confirming that the USACE approved reduced flows of water from Lake Lanier through March 31, 2017.
Although temporary, the reduced flows change “the minimum flow requirement from 750 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 650 cfs as measured at the confluence of the Chattahoochee River and Peachtree Creek near Atlanta.”
The modification was requested by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GEPD). According to the USACE, “GEPD’s request represents a temporary contingency measure in response to drought conditions experienced last year and the possibility of continued drought conditions into 2017.”
Hydrologic modeling, conducted prior to approving the request, suggests the reduced flows will have minimal impact to nearby water resources and no impact to West Point Lake in central west Georgia.
“Our analysis shows that the flow reduction can occur during the cooler time of the year without adversely affecting water quality,” said E. Patrick Robbins, the district’s public affairs officer. “As an extra measure of caution, GEPD will implement additional monitoring and reporting requirements at downstream locations and maintain flexibility through adaptive management. In light of the continuing drought, the measure should improve storage at Lake Lanier without adversely affecting the basin.”