Army Corps seeks new drought fix

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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.

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

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.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/16/11 - 04:51 pm
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Speaking for the thousands of

Speaking for the thousands of people who use the Columbia County portion of the river between Thurmond Dam and Stevens Creek Dam, I'm okay with that during that time of the year if it will help the lake.

There should be one condition, however. Careful coordination of discharges with the two dams is necessary to ensure the river doesn't go too low at any time during the day. If the coves start to dry up and the water level in the river is dropping to unsafe levels, it's not enough water. That's easy to spot and should require immediate measures to alleviate the condition.

The Corps has been doing a tremendous job keeping the level up this year in the midst of yet another drought. Keep up the good work.

swimmer
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swimmer 06/16/11 - 05:02 pm
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just wondering....who is

just wondering....who is riverman1 and what/who gives him the authority to speak for "thousands of people who use the Columbia County portion" of the river? Not saying I disagree, but still wonder who riverman1 is.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/16/11 - 05:19 pm
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"just wondering....who is

"just wondering....who is riverman1 and what/who gives him the authority to speak for "thousands of people who use the Columbia County portion" of the river? Not saying I disagree, but still wonder who riverman1 is."

It's a royalty thing that goes back to the Stallings Island Indians. The title and authority were passed down to me. There were announcements in the local media when I assumed the title a few years ago. My boat is marked with flames on the front to identify me. I have a min in my yard.

dwb619
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dwb619 06/16/11 - 05:52 pm
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What's a "min"?

What's a "min"?

kittikatt
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kittikatt 06/16/11 - 05:59 pm
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LMBO @Riverman1. You can

LMBO @Riverman1. You can speak for me anytime. And you're right; the Corps is doing a great job right now of keeping the lake level up. Usually by this time in the summer our cove is close to drying up. We're still lookin' sweet!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/16/11 - 06:05 pm
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Dwb619, a min is a stack of

Dwb619, a min is a stack of clam shells. They are found on Stallings Island in some type of pattern. The significance of them is not known.

Hi Five to Kittikatt.

scorehouse
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scorehouse 06/16/11 - 06:10 pm
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how is the corp keeping the
Unpublished

how is the corp keeping the river level up? did they dig new water wells to pump into the lake. i think mother nature determines the water flow. also the amount of water in clarks hill is determined by rainfall from the dam back up river to Tennessee, not by Augusta's measured rainfall.

swimmer
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swimmer 06/16/11 - 07:02 pm
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thanks for the lighthearted

thanks for the lighthearted answer riverman. :)

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