Letter: What the Corps is doing

Regarding the letter to the editor written by Denis Thomas (“Corps costing us money,” Nov. 25). I would like respond to his second charge.

 

Lake Thurmond is the third-largest lake east of the Mississippi River, and the Corp of Engineers historically lowers the water level during the cooler months because electricity demand is less, not more.

A hydroelectric dam produces more electricity when the water level is high, not less, for several reasons. The output of the turbines has to be derated when the water level behind it is too low. The Hoover Dam has been derated because of lack of water.

There is also a nuclear power plant, Plant Vogtle, that currently uses 43.2 million gallons of water a day, and when the two new reactors come on line it will use 86.4 million gallons of water a day. That is 2 percent of the “average flow” of the Savannah River. A portion of that water is used to cool the reactors. Would Mr. Thomas have the reactors overheat, causing a release of radiation?

The city of Savannah uses 27 million gallons a day. Agriculture use in the central Savannah watershed uses another 51.8 million gallons a day. Many other municipalities in both Georgia and South Carolina take drinking water from the Savannah River.

These cities are also sources of recreation, sport and tourism. Would he have citizens deprived of basic services like food, drinking water and electricity?

Climate change and population growth are also causing our lake levels to decline. The citizens of Georgia and South Carolina are lucky to have three dams on the Savannah River that provide clean electricity.

It seems to me Mr. Thomas is putting his boating and fishing needs over the health needs of future and downstream citizens. Maybe he should try fighting for clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar. He must believe climate change is a hoax.

Future generations will not be able to boat, ski, swim and fish in Lake Thurmond if we continue to destroy our planet. He is not considering the big picture: the needs of people, plants and animals downstream, and upstream of the Lake Thurmond Dam.

As for charges one and three, they are just too absurd to answer.

James Dennis McMakin

Atlanta

 

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