Recently, at a public meeting in McCormick, the Corps gave extensive data and information on the drought and depleted lake levels at Lake Thurmond.
The thrust of the meeting was to show the complex array of interests that have to be satisfied by sending at least 3,100 cubic feet per second (CFS) of water downstream.
The list included such diverse interests as the city of Augusta which needs certain flows to maintain acceptable water quality, paper plants that need certain flows to dilute their wastes, coastline salt water incursions that occur at too low a flow, etc.
The people attending the meeting were residents and business owners around the lake who experience massive financial losses in real estate values, recreational interests, and business incomes whenever the lake level drops more than 5 feet.
Although real estate values, recreation, and businesses around the lake were on the Corps' list, the fact that lake levels must be maintained within 5 ft. of normal fill to protect these interests was never part of the discussion.
Instead the Corps ran on endlessly with how they have to send 3,100 CFS downstream to make everybody happy without mentioning that in doing so they totally destroy many of the interests they claim to be protecting.
They are playing Robin Hood, robbing from lake residents and businesses to pay interests downstream.
I made the suggestion that the Corps rethink their agenda and tell everyone downstream to look at what they have to do to protect their interests if the lakes only supply the water in excess of 5 ft. below normal fills.
This seemed logical since the local residents are involuntarily (because of current Corps practices) contributing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Why not ask the people downstream to look at what the costs would be if they solved the problems instead of lake residents?