The Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling on the Florida v. Georgia lawsuit wherein Florida sought an equitable apportionment of the waters in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. Florida claimed that Georgia’s excessive use of water harmed the Apalachicola Bay environmental and fishing industries with a primary emphasis on the oyster industry in the bay.
Today, the Supreme Court remanded the case back to the Special Master with clear instructions to establish more detailed information as to the nature – and amounts – of any harm claimed by Florida.
Equitable apportionment legal precedents require establishing not only the general nature of harm but a balancing of the harm to one state to achieve a benefit to another. The dissent clearly shows the actual harm that would occur to Georgia compared to the potential benefit to Florida of a cap on Georgia’s water consumption.
The Lake Lanier Association believes that the dissent written by Justice Clarence Thomas presents persuasive facts that were ignored by the majority opinion.
Lake Lanier is the water resource that benefits the entire state of Georgia and all downstream water users, including Florida. Having a sustainable Lake Lanier for the future is critical for all water users.
We look forward to continuing to make the case for the recreation economy, not only for the counties surrounding Lake Lanier but also for the state of Georgia, and to working with stakeholders in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama to promote the Sustainable Water Management Plan (SWMP) developed by the ACF Stakeholders organization.
For a more detailed write up of today’s Supreme Court ruling, see our synopsis at: http://lakelanier.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Water-Wars-The-Supreme-Court-Dodges-A-Decision-June-27-2018.pdf
The Lake Lanier Association has issued a request of U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Brigadier General Diana Holland to authorize a deviation of the Water Control Manual for Buford Dam and Lake Sidney Lanier regarding water releases for the next several weeks. Details of the request are contained in the attached letter to General Holland.
We hope you will join us for the 2018 Annual Membership Meeting. We will be at Port Royale Marina on Saturday, March 24th. 4:00-6:00PM will be a lake business based vendor expo as well as candidate meet and greet. At 6:00PM, we will start our regular business meeting. Our keynote speaker this year will be Mark Masters, the Executive Director of the ACF Stakeholders organization. He will give us an update on the sustainable water management plan they have developed for the ACF basin. There will be live music, cash bar and, for food this year, we will be doing a “Taste of The Lake” concept with Fish Tales, Pelican Pete’s, Pig Tales and Skogies! There is no charge for our members to attend this event. If you are not a member, you can join via our website or you can join at the meeting.
The lake has risen significantly over the past several weeks with rainfall in the right places for increasing inflows into Lake Lanier. In light of that, we have had a few members express surprise about the current lake level forecast for the next month. We thought we would post some information related to that issue.
Normal Corps ACF operations call for an increase in downstream discharges beginning on March 1, given current conditions in the ACF. That and expectations for the Southeast U.S. to return to drier-than-normal conditions are what combine in the Corps’ forecast for Lanier to drop by about two feet in the next month. Here’s the scoop:
Lake Lanier rose three feet in a week from 2/8-2/15, and is now 3.4 feet higher than it was a mere two weeks ago. We caught a big break last week with heavy rain in the upper ACF basin, especially in the headwater areas of the Chattahoochee and Chestatee Rivers. The Hooch peaked at over 6,000 cfs near Cornelia on the 11th and 12th, and the Chestatee peaked at over 5,000 near Dahlonega. Lanier’s inflows from the two rivers are currently running a little over 1,600 cfs, slightly above the 59-year mean for this day of the year.
Seven-day average ACF basin inflows are currently at 30,000 cfs and were over 40,000 from 2/11 through 2/18. ACF Conservation Storage is currently above the guide curve, meaning that cumulative reservoir levels are slightly above full winter pool. In particular, Lake Lanier is more than six inches above its full winter pool of 1070 MSL. The Corps’ ACF Water Control Manual calls for releases of any basin inflow above 5,000 cfs through the end of February. On March 1, basin inflows available for storage (i.e., water that can be kept in the reservoirs) will drop from everything over 5,000 cfs to 50% of inflows over 16,000. So, in order to accommodate threatened and endangered species such as the Gulf sturgeon, whose spawning period begins around April 1, spring flows will increase across the GA/FL starting next week.
The bottom line, as always, is that it takes normal spring rains throughout the basin to keep ACF lakes full into the coming recreation season.
Lake Lanier Association
Come see us at the Atlanta Boat Show this week! We are Booth #236. Members that join or renew at the show get a free prize at the show AND get automatically entered to win the grand prize of a large Paradise Pad foam water mat. Fun, fun, fun!
Looking forward to the Atlanta Boat Show next week! Come see us at Booth #236. Member that join or renew at the show get a free gift and will be entered into a drawing for a special prize. For details on the show, see their website at http://www.atlantaboatshow.com/
Shore Sweep 2017 is coming up on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017! The advance drop off locations are NOW OPEN!
For the actual day of the event Saturday 9/23, we have twelve different participating locations that you can choose to report to volunteer — Bald Ridge, Aqualand, Gainesville, and Port Royale Marinas, Lanier Islands, Balus Creek and Big Creek Boat Ramps, Lake Lanier Olympic, Don Carter, Gwinnett, Longwood, and War Hill Parks. […]