Water falls to low for year

  • Follow Metro

Even if Thurmond Lake doesn't fall another inch, 2008 has already included the lake's third-lowest levels since 1962, when detailed record-keeping began, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

On Friday, the lake was at 315.12 feet above sea level - its lowpoint of the year. The only other annual lowpoints that were lower were Dec. 29, 1988, when the lake hit 313.22; and its lowest point, 312.79, recorded Feb. 15, 1989, during one of the worst droughts of the last century.

Seventeen of the corps' 33 boat ramps are closed because of low water, and others - including Columbia County's Wildwood Park tournament launch site - are unusable until waters begin to rise.

Forecasts remain bleak, as some of the driest months of the year lie ahead.

According to corps projections, Thurmond Lake could fall another foot by Dec. 1 unless adequate rainfall appears.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119,or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

Worst Lowpoints

Thurmond Lake's lowest annual pool levels since 1962:

FEB. 15, 1989-------------312.79


DEC. 29, 1988-------------313.22


SEPT. 26, 2008------------315.12


SEPT. 14, 2002------------315.34


DEC. 25, 2007-------------316.18


OCT. 27, 1986-------------316.45


DEC. 31, 2001-------------316.91


NOV. 18, 1981-------------317.58


DEC. 16, 1970-------------317.87


DEC. 21, 1987-------------318.05

Comments (12) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
patriciathomas
44
Points
patriciathomas 09/28/08 - 05:53 am
0
0
The Richard B. Russel dam has

The Richard B. Russel dam has been horrible for this area. Thurmond Lake has suffered level and oxygen problems since its operating inception. Too many reservoirs on the little Savannah River.

jebko
0
Points
jebko 09/28/08 - 06:54 am
0
0
Richard B (Dem)...Strom

Richard B (Dem)...Strom Thurmon (Rep) 'dam' those Dems!

Fishboy
29
Points
Fishboy 09/28/08 - 07:37 am
0
0
Actually, low dissolved

Actually, low dissolved oxygen is a natural phenomenon in all large storage reservoirs in the southeast, and Russell has actually benefited the area by helping keep electricity rates very low compared to the rest of the country. The probelm is that it hasn't rained enough, period. The only thing that is horrible for this area is people who whine every time the lake gets low.

patriciathomas
44
Points
patriciathomas 09/28/08 - 08:47 am
0
0
We've wined every day since

We've wined every day since the Richard B was conceived and every day since it was put into service. You have some of the information Fishboy, but you lack enough to give you an overall view of reality. You're referring to flow and I'm referring to volume.

getalife
6
Points
getalife 09/28/08 - 09:50 am
0
0
Too many lakes on one river

Too many lakes on one river system. If Lake Russell had not been built, all of the water in Lake Russell would have flowed into Clarks Hill. But Lake Russell is always close to being full since they use reverse turbines, which return some of the water back into Lake Russell. If Clarks Hill had reverse turbines and used them, then the Savannah River leaving Clarks Hill would have to be renamed to Savannah Creek. And for the responder that states Lake Russell is a resouvior, all of the 3 lakes on this river chain are resouviors.

southern2
11287
Points
southern2 09/28/08 - 10:39 am
0
0
Federal laws need to be

Federal laws need to be re-written allowing Lake Russell to be pooled at the same level as Hartwell and Clarks Hill. Since Russell Dam was designed after the other two lakes had satisfied the conservation storage needs on the Savannah River it was designed to operate efficiently by minimizing the drawdown of the lake. Therefore Russell lake levels are always maintained within 5 feet of full pool whereas Hartwell has 35 feet of conservation storage and Thurmond has 18 feet. THIS IS PART OF THE PROBLEM AND NEEDS TO BE CHANGED!

Fishboy
29
Points
Fishboy 09/28/08 - 10:52 am
0
0
PT, I've worked on hydropower

PT, I've worked on hydropower reservoirs all over the southeast - so I think I have a pretty good understanding of the reality. Even if Russell was never built, we'd still be in the same situation, because you have to release a certain amount of water to the river to maintain water quality. Flow is just volume per unit time. Russell's presence doesn't change the amount of water flowing into the system, it just controls it. Even even the Corps drained every drop of water from Russell at its current level, it would only raise Thurmond by 12 feet - still below the full pool of 330.

thistownisunbelievable
1
Points
thistownisunbelievable 09/28/08 - 11:09 am
0
0
Not be captain obvious, but I

Not be captain obvious, but I think we just need more rain.

patriciathomas
44
Points
patriciathomas 09/28/08 - 01:03 pm
0
0
Fishboy, if the water is held

Fishboy, if the water is held in a relatively still position and in an increased surface area, the rate of evaporation is dramatically increased. Also since the total rain fall is down and the Richard B uses a system that returns water to the reservoir instead of allowing it to flow down stream, Thurmond is affeccted. The close proximity to Thurmond means the required flow from that point isn't as high as we'd like it to be. There are more extenuating influences then simple flow and volume, (though they are important).

southern2
11287
Points
southern2 09/28/08 - 02:16 pm
0
0
Clarks Hill Lake has been

Clarks Hill Lake has been lowered another foot this past week. How about removing the three dams and allow the Savannah to return to its original flow, then fire the Corps and return the land to the original owners that were forced to move out so that their home places could be turned into the big mud hole we have today.

The Knave
24
Points
The Knave 09/28/08 - 02:19 pm
0
0
As is her usual habit,

As is her usual habit, patriciathomas is speaking from a position of being piously convicted and marginally informed. She obviously knows nothing of the basic principles of hydraulics and hydrodynamics, as well as the factors that facilitate or inhibit movement of moisture in the air. The level of ignorance is stunning and is not worthy of further comment. "Know-nothing" of course is a perfect accompaniment to her adoration of The Shrub. Undoubtedly, she believes that the renaming of Clarks Hill Lake in "honor" of that racist, womanizing, arch-criminal and sidekick of The Shrub, Ole Strom, is just a wonderful tribute.

2tired2argueanymore
1
Points
2tired2argueanymore 09/29/08 - 08:09 am
0
0
If you read the facts about

If you read the facts about the low levels you will see that these levels did not occur until the construction of Richard B Russel. People that have lived here long before the construction will tell you that they had never seen these low levels until more recent years. So you can call PT a know it all if you like but I think on this one she is right. Fishboy may need to re-check his facts. Russel came to life in the 80's. Perhaps he worked for the Corp of Engineers?

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs