Posts tagged "Lake Level"

Lake level forecast for March 2018 projecting a two foot drop

February 21st, 2018 Posted by Full Lake 0 comments on “Lake level forecast for March 2018 projecting a two foot drop”

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.

Clyde Morris

Lake Lanier Association

Rainfall and Lake Levels

September 7th, 2017 Posted by Full Lake 0 comments on “Rainfall and Lake Levels”

Rainfall_LakeLevelComparison

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Why are Lake Levels not Rising?

February 20th, 2017 Posted by Full Lake 0 comments on “Why are Lake Levels not Rising?”

We have had several members asking questions about lake levels. We thought a group communication might be helpful at this point.

It’s been raining, right? So why isn’t Lanier’s water level going up?
As this is being written, Lanier is at essentially the same level as it was in December and January, and about a foot below the same date in November. But it’s rained about five inches (about average) around Lanier since the beginning of the year and the average discharges from Buford Dam are the lowest they’ve been since late 2014. (more…)

Water Control Manual Update Comments

March 6th, 2013 Posted by Water Quantity 0 comments on “Water Control Manual Update Comments”

Next time you wonder why you should financially support the LLA, read the Florida Water Control Manual Update comments letter and realize that they are urging the Corps to bring Lanier down to 1035′ during times of drought. You thought 1050′ was difficult, image 1035′! A significant part of our advocacy role is monitoring what other stakeholder groups are advocating for, determining what sort of impact that would have on Lanier, and then affecting change where we can. We are actively working on three different areas that impact lake levels:  more water, less consumption, better operating rules. It takes time, effort, and money to do that. If you are already a member, thank you for supporting our mission. If you are not currently a member, please consider joining. Please share this information with your friends and neighbors so that they too can support advocating for Lanier and we can increase our membership size, voice, and influence.

In case you would like to read some of the Water Control Manual Update comments, they are posted on our website in the Library section.

Lake Lanier Association comments for Water Control Manual update

January 14th, 2013 Posted by Water Quantity 0 comments on “Lake Lanier Association comments for Water Control Manual update”

The Lake Lanier Association recently submitted comments for the Corps of Engineers Water Control Manual revision for the ACF System. A quick summary of our comments are as follows:

– The 5,000 cfs minimum flow required at the state line is not representative of the true lowest historical flows in the ACF and is not sustainable.

– Lanier was never designed to support ALL downstream demands and can’t be expected to because the dams originally proposed on the Flint River were never built.

– The Corps’ current operating rules require more water to be released from Lanier than is necessary and do not allow as much to be stored as is possible.  These draw the lake down more than necessary and make it less likely to refill to full pool under contemporary climatic conditions.

– The Endangered Species Act does not require the Corps to augment Apalachicola River flows above run-of-river levels and the practice should not be required because it depletes Lanier unnecessarily.

– Regular navigation is no longer feasible on the ACF and the Corps should not try to support it in view of the other demands on Lanier as a resource of last resort.

To see the full text of our comments, and the supporting document references, click the below links:

WCM Comments 01142013

A Long-Term Perspective on a Modern Drought in the American Southeast

Executive Summary – Lake Lanier Economic Impact Analysis Final Report

Lake Lanier ALERT — December 26, 2012

December 27th, 2012 Posted by Water Quantity 0 comments on “Lake Lanier ALERT — December 26, 2012”

Lake levels are rising rapidly today due to recent rains.  The lake has already risen almost eleven (11) inches in the last week and is at 1057.24 as this is being written.  Inflows are running at more than 500% of the average for this day (~4450 cfs in the Chattahoochee and ~1900 cfs in the Chestatee).  Rising lake levels can cause problems for dock owners in several ways.  First, ramps can end up in the water, making it difficult to move docks back toward their full pool positions.  More seriously, anchor poles can either be lifted off the bottom if there’s not enough slack in the lifting cables or they can slide out of the bottoms of their collars if the dock rises beyond the poles’ reach.  Combined with the high winds we are experiencing today (over 20 mph), anchor pole problems can result in docks being dislodged and blown away from their normal mooring sites, causing damage to themselves, adjacent docks, or nearby boats.  It’s also a good idea in the event of heavy winds to make sure your shore cables are sound and secure.

 Please be sure to check your dock and make adjustments as necessary.

December 12th, 2012 Posted by Water Quality, Water Quantity, Water Safety 0 comments on “”

The Lake Lanier Legislative Caucus, which is a group of state senators and state house representatives with constituencies around Lake Lanier, is holding two public meetings on Saturday, December 15, 2012 to gather feedback from Lake Lanier stakeholders regarding potential lake safety and other issues that may be appropriate for inclusion in the upcoming legislative session starting in January 2013. The Lake Lanier Association has already shared with the Legislative Caucus the results of the member survey we conducted last summer. Please see the most recent LLA newsletter for more details regarding those results. The meetings on December 15th are another opportunity for the general public to voice their concerns to our elected officials.

Individuals are invited to attend either meeting. Since time will be at a premium at both of the meetings, we respectfully request that multiple individuals try not to repeat the same information to allow as many persons as possible the opportunity to voice their opinions. Individuals representing larger groups such as homeowners associations, sailing clubs, fishing clubs, etc. are encouraged to speak on behalf of their group.

1st Hearing will be from 10:30-12 p.m.
Gainesville Civic Center Ballroom
830 Green Street
Gainesville, GA

2nd Hearing will be from 1-2:30 p.m.
Buford City Hall
2300 Buford Hwy
Buford, GA

Lt. Gov. Cagle urges higher lake levels

May 26th, 2012 Posted by Annual Meeting 0 comments on “Lt. Gov. Cagle urges higher lake levels”

Lee Johnson
ljohnson@gainesvilletimes.com
May 25, 2012

While addressing the Lake Lanier Association on Thursday night, Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle rallied for the protection of Lake Lanier and said higher lake levels have been, and can be, maintained.

“We realize the great recreational value it has for our state,” said Cagle. “It’s also a huge resource for the state of Georgia.”

Right now, the lake levels are around 1,065 feet above sea level. Full summer pool for the lake is 1,071 feet above sea level.

Cagle says the lake has been higher, using the 1996 Olympics as an example, and “where there is a will, there is a way” to keep those levels higher.

“I think it needs to be a fuller pool than (1,071) and the capacity is there to make that happen,” he said.

He urged the U.S. Corps of Engineers, which controls the water release at Buford Dam, to make the lake a “stronger priority.”

Lake Lanier, for more than two decades, has been at the center of a tristate debate for water use.

It is a part of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system and Alabama, Florida and Georgia continuously lock horns on how the water is to be used.

Georgia wants the system’s water for drinking water, economic growth and recreation. Alabama says the water is necessary for energy. Florida says the water is essential to support a seafood industry and wildlife in the Apalachicola River Basin.

Last June, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a 2009 ruling by U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson, who ruled it was illegal for the Corps of Engineers to use water from the lake to provide metro Atlanta with usable water.

“That was a huge win,” said Cagle. “As a result it created a whole new landscape as it relates to water quantity.”

The June 2011 ruling from the federal appeals court also gave the corps one year to make a final determination on how to allocate Lanier’s water.

“It sent a very, very strong message to the Corps of Engineers that we need an updated water management plan and I think that’s critical for not only Lake Lanier, but the entire state,” said Cagle.

Cagle said the ruling gave the state the ability to better negotiate with Florida and Alabama, who have said they plan to appeal.

But the lieutenant governor says Lanier is not as big a player in the river system as most think.

“If not one ounce of water came over the dam at Buford it would only impact the flow at the Georgia-Florida line less than one foot,” Cagle said. “Most people don’t capture that, but that’s the reality of what we’re talking about.”

The locals seem to agree that Lanier’s water is best served in Georgia.

“Those mussels and sturgeon (in Florida) lived 7 million years before Lake Lanier,” said Frank Norton of Norton Realty.

“If all this fails I want Gov. (Nathan) Deal and Lt. Gov. Cagle to mount the Georgia militia and stand on top of the Buford Dam and yell at Alabama and Florida: ‘Come and get it.’”

He said the low water levels directly affect the property value surrounding Lanier, valued at more than a half-trillion dollars.

“When the water gets pulled out of Lake Lanier, the sales stop,” said Norton.

But for some lake residents it’s simpler than that.

Paul LeMay bought property on Lanier about five years ago.

He hoped he could share the lake with his children and grandchildren, but says the constant low levels pose a safety threat, when he can even get his boat off the dirt where his dock is.

LeMay actually plans on selling his lakeside property.

“My wife and I decided this isn’t a place where we wanted to live because it’s moved from a God situation with the drought, which we can understand, to all of sudden all of these politics flushed out, which we never realized,” said LeMay.

“I no longer encourage people to look for property on the lake.”

Earlier this week, the corps unveiled a new plan that will adjust procedures at Jim Woodruff Dam on Lake Seminole in South Georgia.

The new procedures would release the minimum amount of water, 5,000 cubic feet per second, out of Woodruff Dam in times of drought until reservoirs upstream, including Lanier, were nearly at full pool.

Only then would the corps release more water — 5,000 to 10,000 cfs, up from 5,000 to 8,000 cfs — out of Woodruff Dam.

Adding more reservoirs is something Cagle sees as necessary to maintain a supply of water.

“We are going to need to build reservoirs for the state,” he said. “I think we can do it in a responsible way and in a way that protects the environment.”

That includes the Glades Reservoir in Hall County.

“I am for the Glades Reservoir, as long as it does not hurt Lake Lanier,” said Cagle. “We have to have the supply and I think the two can be balanced together.”

But as talks continue between the three states and water levels on Lanier continue to stay below full pool, the lieutenant governor says the lake needs to remain a priority — whether it’s for safety, home value or water supply.

“It doesn’t matter how you look at the lake, as long as your interest is to protect the lake, then that’s a good thing,” said Cagle.

 

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/67979/

Your Views: Lake group supports higher pool level for Lanier – Gainesville Times Letter to the Editor

February 28th, 2011 Posted by Water Quantity 0 comments on “Your Views: Lake group supports higher pool level for Lanier – Gainesville Times Letter to the Editor”

In response to the recent letter to the editor regarding our proposal to raise the level of Lake Lanier by 2 feet, I would like to give additional information on this proposal.
The Lake Lanier Association is very appreciative of our local community getting involved in the issues regarding Lake Lanier and we encourage our members to carry on a dialogue with us so we can be responsive to their concerns.

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