Corps is playing Robin Hood with lake levels

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Recently, at a public meeting in McCormick, the Corps gave extensive data and information on the drought and depleted lake levels at Lake Thurmond.

The thrust of the meeting was to show the complex array of interests that have to be satisfied by sending at least 3,100 cubic feet per second (CFS) of water downstream.

The list included such diverse interests as the city of Augusta which needs certain flows to maintain acceptable water quality, paper plants that need certain flows to dilute their wastes, coastline salt water incursions that occur at too low a flow, etc.

The people attending the meeting were residents and business owners around the lake who experience massive financial losses in real estate values, recreational interests, and business incomes whenever the lake level drops more than 5 feet.

Although real estate values, recreation, and businesses around the lake were on the Corps' list, the fact that lake levels must be maintained within 5 ft. of normal fill to protect these interests was never part of the discussion.

Instead the Corps ran on endlessly with how they have to send 3,100 CFS downstream to make everybody happy without mentioning that in doing so they totally destroy many of the interests they claim to be protecting.

They are playing Robin Hood, robbing from lake residents and businesses to pay interests downstream.

I made the suggestion that the Corps rethink their agenda and tell everyone downstream to look at what they have to do to protect their interests if the lakes only supply the water in excess of 5 ft. below normal fills.

This seemed logical since the local residents are involuntarily (because of current Corps practices) contributing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Why not ask the people downstream to look at what the costs would be if they solved the problems instead of lake residents?

Jerry Clontz

McCormick, SC

Comments (10) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/16/08 - 07:23 am
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Building the dam did not mean

Building the dam did not mean the river below would be allowed to dry up. Adequate flows are necessary even if it means doing away with the dam. I love the lake, too, but it secondary to the tremendous needs of the river below. If you examine the issue, the Corps has already drastically cut back on what is released during this drought. They are trying to help the lake. It is a drought as happens every now and then and there is not much any of us can do about it except ride it out. If there were a magic way to fill the lake, I'd be the first to tell you.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 11/16/08 - 09:55 am
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It's difficult to consider

It's difficult to consider the property on the lake as lake or lake front property. The counties still consider them as lake property and tax them as such. I'm sure most people wouldn't like the fact that they are being 'highly' taxed for something they are unable to use and do anything about. Docks and boats are sitting on the shore. And I add that it is a much extended shore line. Coves are being dried up. Boat ramps are unable to use and promises of fixing ramps are unfulfilled. The hydrilla has taken over and property owners are not allowed to eliminate it themselves so must pay an expert to get rid of the invading plant. The corp is not doing an adequate job of regulating the lakes. The taxes go up but the water doesn't

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 11/16/08 - 11:23 am
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Another thing. Why was there

Another thing. Why was there no mention in the news about the meeting that was held last week in McCormick? They had the largest turnout of all the meetings that have been held in the past several years.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 11/16/08 - 11:24 am
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Remember how Augusta

Remember how Augusta complained about the shoreline when there was a drawdown? You should see what is happening to the shoreline at the lake, but no one seems concerned.

rufus
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rufus 11/16/08 - 11:25 am
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mypoint, you must not have

mypoint, you must not have seen Hartwell lately. You can walk across most of the coves

The Knave
24
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The Knave 11/16/08 - 11:35 am
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Cry me a river, cry me a

Cry me a river, cry me a stream... When you folk bought property on the fake lake, no one promised you that the water would be lapping at your over-priced mud bank, in perpetuity. Facts: (1) A severe drought is extant across the region; (2) "Drought" means that there is not as much water as there used to be; (3) There are much more important considerations at stake here than the fact that you took a risk by buying the property and, maybe, the economic consequences will be unfavorable to you. Oh, I forgot, a few people having water-front property is a much higher priority than electricity generation, drinking water, industrial activity (what little is left) and prevention of salt-water intrusion; (4) If you think your tax assessment is too high, appeal it just like all of the rest of us have to do; (5) You speak from a position of ignorance when you say "...the the other lakes above Clark hill kept at full pool." Take a look at Hartwell. Russell is a special case, owing to its power-generation-pumped-storage design. (6) Hey, those non-water-front-property-owning serfs don't need no stinking electricity, they don't need no stinking drinking water, they don't need no jobs,

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 11/16/08 - 12:00 pm
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kna... That post sounded real

kna... That post sounded real intelligent. I guess that is your way of discussing an issue that is important to many people. I guess the way you think it is also fine for them to lower the lake so they can raise the water level for the boat races in augusta. Mighty fine reasoning there.

southern2
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southern2 11/16/08 - 03:24 pm
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As noted in yesterday's AC,

As noted in yesterday's AC, "Heaviest rain in 3 years hits area" yet the lake level shows little or no effect. Same article also shows the rainfall deficit this year in Augusta at -3.76 inches. How does this figure constitute an "extreme drought" and a lake 16 foot below full pool?

dwb619
86879
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dwb619 11/16/08 - 08:26 pm
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Rainfall below the lake will

Rainfall below the lake will not raise the level of lake.

southern2
5433
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southern2 11/16/08 - 08:37 pm
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Sorry, I thought the lake was

Sorry, I thought the lake was in the "area". The rain certainly increased the river flow which is often stated as the need for the lake drain.

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