Army Corps seeks new drought fix

Stevens Creek Dam captures and releases erratic pulses of water from Thurmond Dam 13 miles upstream.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to modify its drought contingency plan by further reducing flows into the Savannah River during the most severe phases of drought.

 

The proposed change, up for public comment through July 14, would amend the operating plan for "Level IV" drought, which would occur if Thurmond Lake's pool level fell to 312 feet above sea level, or 18 feet below full pool.

Under the current drought plan, flows would be maintained at 3,600 cubic feet per second as long as possible during a Level IV drought.

The revision would allow those flows to be reduced to as little 3,100 cubic feet per second from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28, when cooler weather would partially offset the environmental harm from the lower flows.

"The proposed change will give us more flexibility to conserve the remaining water in the reservoirs without additional adverse impacts on the environment both upstream and downstream," said Col. Jeff Hall, the Savannah District commander.

Flows would be restored to 3,600 cubic feet per second, however, at the request of either Georgia or South Carolina, according to the proposal.

Although several cycles of drought have occurred during the past decade, the Savannah River reservoirs have never reached Level IV, corps spokesman Billy Birdwell said.

Comments on the proposal can be submitted electronically to CESAS-PD@usace.army.mil or by mail to Army Corps of Engineers, Attention: PD, Savan- nah District, P.O. Box 889, Savannah GA 31402-0889.

More

Augusta ends collections for hurricane evacuees

Augusta is no longer in need of donations for Hur­ricane Matthew evacuees, Richmond County Emer­gen­cy Management officials... Read more

Aiken schools reopen today

Aiken County schools will reopen Monday, school officials announced Sunday.

The 250-plus hurricane evacuees who were sheltering at... Read more