First if the water that is allowed to flow out of a lake is only that which comes in from rains, the states downstream are then getting the same water they would be receiving if no lake had been built.
Furthermore if someone downstream wants a bigger pool of water they can accomplish this by building their own lake.
Stated another way no state should be required to send more water downstream than would have been present if no lake existed.
Using this logic all one has to do is declare where the bottom should be for a given lake. Once the bottom is reached the water releases would then match the amount of water coming in from rain so that the lake level stops decreasing.
If Lake Thurmond were declared to be at bottom at 325 ft (5 ft below normal fill) the only affect of a major drought such as the one now in progress would be reduced power generation. Issues connected with water flows south of the lake would revert back to what would have been if no lake existed.
Jerry Clontz, Aiken, S.C.