Workshops planned to address receding Savannah River reservoirs

Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 10:33 AM
Last updated 9:49 PM
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As water levels continue to recede, the Army Corps of Engineers is planning a series of workshops to offer curious residents detailed information about how the Savannah River reservoirs are managed and balanced.

“We will have displays set up for people to look at, and give people an opportunity to discuss issues and ask questions with subject matter experts,” said Billy Birdwell, the corps spokesman for the Savannah District. “The topics will include hydropower and water management and water safety, too.”

The first workshop will be Oct. 24 at McCormick Middle School in McCormick, S.C., Birdwell said. The hours are likely to be late afternoon to early evening but have not been set.

In addition to corps experts and information, other resource agencies associated with the lakes and water management will be invited to participate.

Thurmond Lake’s surface elevation Friday was 316.9 feet above sea level, or more than 13 feet below full pool. Projections call for the reservoir to fall below 316 feet in early December unless widespread and sustained rainfall develops.

Residents concerned about the low lakes and the effects of drought on real estate, the recreational industry and the environment should plan to attend the workshops, said Barb Shelley, a facilitator for the Friends of the Savannah River Basin stakeholder group.

“We really feel it’s important to show our numbers and to be prepared to ask questions,” she said.

An additional workshop will be held Oct. 25 in Anderson, S.C., but the time and location have not been set.

Comments (13) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/05/12 - 10:52 am
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Just keep in mind the

Just keep in mind the concerns of those below the dam.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 10/05/12 - 11:17 am
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Silt

Hey, RM, you can go to the workshop and ask the Corps to dredge out the silt that washed into your cove from the subdivision under construction above you. I'm sure they'll be glad to help.

southern2
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southern2 10/05/12 - 01:17 pm
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Of the 10 southeast lakes

Of the 10 southeast lakes tracked in the AC, why is only 3 drastically low while 7 lakes that surround them are basically full. Always the same 3 that are virtually drained to critical levels before we see any kind of recovery.

just an opinion
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just an opinion 10/05/12 - 01:47 pm
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Let someone else manage the lake.

That would be a start. The Corp has proven they are incompetent and quite frankly really could care less about you boaters. Don't take my word for it, just ask them.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 10/05/12 - 02:32 pm
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I am at the lake now. It's

I am at the lake now. It's pitiful. Between the low water, hydrilla, and exposed shoreline, it looks like you are parked beside a half empty bowl of spinach. Pathetic. Typical Corps lake management. I am sure glad I did not invest in any mudside property up here.

Rob Pavey
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Rob Pavey 10/05/12 - 03:57 pm
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now you can blame the corps - in person.

I hope each of you will attend and inquire. The corps tells me they have invited other entities with water management roles to attend and answer questions too. Georgia and S.C. DNRs may be there. (I wonder if they invited Mother Nature?)

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/05/12 - 04:33 pm
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Dichotomy, don't forget

Dichotomy, don't forget those who invested on riverfront property in Columbia County. If they want to tear the damn dam down and let us all deal with it, I'm with that.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/05/12 - 04:38 pm
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What puzzles me is the low

What puzzles me is the low level of the lake and the low level in the river. I really suspect something is not right with lake management upstate. I do realize we are on different river basins.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 10/05/12 - 05:50 pm
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I say for the umpteenth time;

I say for the umpteenth time; If the river can sustain downstream interests at 31-3300 CFS, why in the Sam Hill doesn't it stay there when the lake is down even 6 inches?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 10/06/12 - 07:07 am
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Management

All the Corps would have to do is shut off the flow completely whenever it is raining in Columbia County and North Richmond County. The natural rainfall would provide the 3,100 cfs and the lake could fill. There would be no conflict between downstream users and lake users.

But no-o-o-o-o-o, the Corps officials insist on putting out their own 3,100 cfs even when it is pouring down rain.

Jane18
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Jane18 10/06/12 - 08:57 am
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Lake Meetings

My husband and I(and others) will be at these meetings, and will expect to hear some answers...........................The lake(?) really is a sad sight, dichotomy. I only live about a mile and a half from Little River Bridge, and it upsets me, in a sad way, everytime I cross the bridge.... I believe just an opinion is correct, about The Corps!

soapy_725
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soapy_725 10/06/12 - 08:58 am
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Sort of like the personal water management
Unpublished

practices of ordinary citizens and businesses that have sprinkler system on timers that work through the rainfall. Ludicrous and wasteful. But some responsible person would have to move the dial to OFF.

In both cases there is a master plan. The Corps has a water management plan. Homeowners have a master plan. All of the businesses on Washington Rd have a water management plan. When you have to water your grass with "grey water" and pinch your nose for the stench, then you will be happy.

Georgia Power has a water management plan. Their plan seems to generate electricity and maintain lake levels. Oh yea, they are not the federal government. GA Power is just the for profit company that the public and government blame for everything.

The Corps does what it pleases where and when it has authority. Sort of like government land management. They preserve land for nature from citizens who cannot trespass, but Halliburton can drill all they please.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 10/06/12 - 09:06 am
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Go give some INPUT.
Unpublished

Powerful people love input from citizens. It feeds their condescending nature.

We have watched the lake rise and fall since it was a coffer dam in the bedrock. We made a model for same and put it the science fair. The damn dam provided electricity for the Bomb Plant when we made bombs and now the electricity goes into the northeast grid.

The government giveth and the government taketh away.

Bureaucrats are paid well to sit and TALK about issues. They love talk and committees and study groups and wasting time.

Talk is cheap. Augusta still has RR tracks and flooding. Seven decades of input have not changed a thing.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 10/06/12 - 09:07 am
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Maybe the workshop could be held
Unpublished

at Reynolds Plantation on Oconee?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/06/12 - 10:29 am
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The problem is the lake and

The problem is the lake and river are related in complex ways. The hydrological effects on the river affect it greatly. Limnology gets into this in detail. Water from the lake is not being released into an aluminum gutter downstream, but into a dynamic flowing river where the wetness of the banks and wetlands control many factors including the depth of the river.

Some have said during droughts that the river would simply dry up if the dam wasn’t there. That’s not true, rivers adapt using the wetness of the surrounding land to maintain a flow. When the amount of water is low, the wetlands give up more their water to the river. When there is too much, more is soaked into the soil. Around any body of fresh water an inch of rain will have a different effect on the level, depending on the wetness of the surrounding soil. That’s why regular rain is even more important than its volume alone. Nature’s stasis.

just an opinion
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just an opinion 10/06/12 - 11:25 am
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McCormick Middle School- how convenient!

2 a.m would be a good time as well. That should keep the crowd down! Do you really think the arrogant Corp is going to consider your suggestions? They are untouchable and report to NO ONE!

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