Posts tagged "Corp of Engineers"

Annual Meeting 2014 — Sunday, April 27th

April 23rd, 2014 Posted by Annual Meeting 0 comments on “Annual Meeting 2014 — Sunday, April 27th”

The Lake Lanier Association 2014 Annual Member meeting is coming up this Sunday, April 27th at the Carriage House Pavilion at Lake Lanier Islands. The candidate meet and greet portion of the meeting starts at 4:00PM and the business portion of the meeting begins at 5:00PM. We have over 25 local, state, and federal elected officials or candidates for office that will be in attendance for our members to meet and talk to regarding their interests and concerns.

Frank Norton, Jr. will give an outlook presentation regarding economic trends and market activity related to Lake Lanier. We will also have updates from the Corps of Engineers on several of their Lake Lanier related projects, and, of course, we will give an update on all the different projects and services offered by the Lake Lanier Association to the lake community.

There will also be several local lake-related businesses in attendance for you to get updates on products and services that are of interest to you as a lake recreational user, merchant, or property owner. Lake Lanier Islands at Sunset Cove, will be hosting an In The Water Boat Show this weekend. If you want to come out early and see the boats prior to the start of the Annual Meeting, you are encouraged to do so.

This meeting is presented as a member service. There is no fee for members to attend this meeting. Non-members are welcome to attend and encouraged to join at the meeting! We hope to see you there.

Boater Safety Legislation and Discounts

February 23rd, 2013 Posted by Water Safety 0 comments on “Boater Safety Legislation and Discounts”

Senate Bill 136 regarding boater safety was introduced this week during the legislative session. The below document gives more details about the specifics the bill includes:

Senate Bill 136 Boater Safety_DNR Talking Points

Also related to boater safety, Allatoona Lake and Lake Sidney Lanier boaters are invited to take part in a pilot program to encourage boater safety and education.

Through the new program, recreational boaters earning a certificate from an authorized Safe Boating Class will be rewarded with a complimentary annual day-use pass valid for one full year.

Boating safety certificates earned within the past year can be presented to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Project Offices at Allatoona or Lanier along with a valid photo ID to claim their annual day-use pass
If you have successfully completed at boater safety education course, be sure to talk to your insurance company and see if you are eligible for a discount for completing the course. Many insurance companies recognize any certified National Association of State Boating Laws Administrators (NASBLA) course as eligible for discounts.

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

Corps Suspends Permits and pursues Water Safey at Lake Lanier

May 15th, 2012 Posted by Water Safety 0 comments on “Corps Suspends Permits and pursues Water Safey at Lake Lanier”

 For Immediate Release:  

May 15, 2012

 Corps Suspends Permits and pursues Water Safey at Lake Lanier 

 Park Rangers at Lake Lanier are preparing for another busy recreation season while the water level at Lake Lanier continues to decline as drought conditions persist throught the southeast. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will curtail some of its operations.

 On May 20, 2012, USACE will suspend evaluations of permit requests for new private docks received under the lottery system and requests for upgrades to existing private docks. This action is in response to a number of serious boating accidents and water-related deaths on Lake Lanier this year. USACE is refocusing all available park ranger staff to promote water safety through one-on-one contact with lake visitors.

 “We regret any inconvenience this may cause, but it is important to be able to shift available staff to assist project visitors during the peak recreation season. We expect that we will need all available park rangers until some point after the Labor Day Holiday period,” said Lisa Coghlan, Deputy Public Affairs Officer.

 For additional information contact USACE at 770-945-9531.

Commentary: The case for raising the Lake Lanier level two feet

May 15th, 2011 Posted by Water Quantity 0 comments on “Commentary: The case for raising the Lake Lanier level two feet”

By Wilton Rooks, Guest columnist for the Gainesville Times

Georgia’s citizens and virtually all government entities from the state house to the local city or county administration understand and accept the need to conserve Georgia’s water resources. Georgia’s economy – in fact, the entire Southeast economy – depends on a reliable supply of fresh water for water supply, recreation, business, industry and environmental protection.

Georgia has passed a far reaching Water Stewardship Act to impose restrictions and incentives to fix leaks, to use less water and to manage water more efficiently. Cities and counties, especially in the Metro Atlanta area have imposed even more stringent requirements.

But what happens to the millions of gallons of saved water used on a daily basis?

Unless we have more ways to store it, that water flows to the Gulf of Mexico, even during times when there is excess water beyond what is needed for downstream uses. The challenge is to have programs and resources in place to store the water that is conserved so that it can be beneficially used when rainfall does not provide enough water for the users of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin.

The fastest and cheapest way to store that water is in Lake Lanier, already the largest reservoir on the ACF watershed and currently with 14 feet of flood storage capacity. By raising the full pool level of Lake Lanier by only two feet and adjusting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operating procedures for the ACF Basin, more than 26 billion gallons of additional water can be stored during times of surplus to be used during times of drought.

The economics of this approach are overwhelming. It is literally the “low hanging fruit” to achieve increased water storage for Metro Atlanta and for all users in the ACF watershed — including those in Florida and Alabama. Without Lake Lanier’s water during the drought of 2007, all downstream users would have had to live with what nature provided, which was about half of the minimum required flow into Apalachicola River. With more water stored in Lake Lanier, everyone wins.

The need to reauthorize Lanier for water supply is a given – even at its current level. So that is not a factor associated with raising the lake by two feet. It is a factor associated with using any of the water from Lanier for water supply purposes. The path toward reauthorization is going to depend on the outcome of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision on Judge Magnuson’s ruling and final agreements among the states.

Raising the lake by two feet can occur in a very short time period. During April 2009, the lake rose by 3 feet even though there was only 2.6 inches of rain during that month, considerably below average. There have been other months where it rose very little even with more rain.

The level of Lake Lanier is determined by the rainfall below Buford Dam as much as the amount of rainfall above Buford Dam. The amount and distribution of rainfall in the entire ACF Basin, along with hydropower generation and the Corps of Engineers need to balance the downstream reservoirs, determine how much water is released from Lanier. We have seen Lanier rise extremely fast when there is ample rain fall either above or below Lanier. This recommendation would be to store more water when it is available, not to deprive downstream users of water when it is not in ample supply.

Raising Lanier by 2 feet is not presented as the solution to Atlanta’s water future. It is one part of the ultimate solution to Atlanta’s water future. While doing so, it forestalls Lanier reaching the extreme low levels that it did in a drought similar to the 2006-2008 drought. Because of the “martini glass” shape of the lake basin, if Lanier had started 2 feet higher at the beginning of that drought, it would have been 3 feet higher when the drought ended.

As documented in the Economic Impact Study produced by the 1071 Coalition, the Lanier recreation economy degrades sharply whenever the Lake drops to 1060 or 1061 elevation. Any option to postpone that occurrence is a positive factor for the North Georgia economy. This idea should not be predicated on how many additional million gallons per day of water can be used for water supply purposes. Instead, it should be viewed as a way to extend the time when is Lanier above the 1060 or 1061 elevation for the economic health of our area.

Securing an agreement with our neighboring states has to be the top priority for the three governors. But that agreement alone does not create more stored water. It will deal with how that water is used. All parties to the agreement will benefit from having more stored water.

The cost and time factors of raising Lanier by 2 feet is miniscule compared to the costs of building new reservoirs. A properly done study will tell us what the costs will be. We all should be interested in a study to determine those costs. Lanier has been above 1073 over 300 times during its history-most recently in November 2009. It has been above 1077 on numerous occasions. Unlike the inevitable unknown surprises that crop up in building a new project, we have the benefit of some experience as to what happens around the lake at those higher levels.

This is not presented as an alternative to new reservoirs or any other viable ideas that will help secure the metro Atlanta’s water future. Each idea for addressing Atlanta’s water future has to stand on its own merits. This is an idea that has rallied county commissions, recreational users, businesses, environmental groups and many other stakeholders. It is a time that has come. Along with the necessary re-authorization of Lake Lanier for water supply purposes, this change would be a major part of the solution to the Metro Atlanta and the entire SE water supply needs.

The Corps needs to initiate the necessary study to better understand the costs and benefits of this change — now.

Wilton Rooks is vice president of the Lake Lanier Association.


Lake Lanier’s level is on mark with summer full pool

May 1st, 2011 Posted by Water Quantity 0 comments on “Lake Lanier’s level is on mark with summer full pool”

Lake Lanier has stayed around 1,071 feet above sea level

Jeff Gill, Gainesville Times

With levels up and summer just ahead, Lake Lanier is sitting pretty.

“I think lake levels this summer will be fine. We’re in good shape,” said state climatologist David Stooksbury, speaking in an interview last week about summer conditions.

The lake’s summer full pool elevation of 1,071 feet above sea level took effect Sunday, and Lanier has hovered around that mark since early February. The last time the lake dropped below 1,070 feet — the winter full pool — was Feb. 4.

“Lanier is big enough, even though it has a small watershed, that … it doesn’t start getting into trouble into we start having multiyear droughts,” Stooksbury said. “The fact that we’re in good shape right now bodes well for the summer.”

He doesn’t have a summer forecast for North Georgia at this point, but no one should fret even if conditions turn out to be “very dry.”

In that case, “We’d see Lanier drop but not to the (level) we saw in 2007,” Stooksbury said.

In a drought that lasted from 2007 to 2009, Lanier fell to all-time low of 1,050.79 feet in December 2007. The reservoir finally hit full pool in October 2009.

Earlier this year, the Hall County area fell back into mild drought, believed to be the result of a La Niña atmospheric pattern that produces drier than normal conditions. As that ended, spring rains, some quite heavy, proved to be a drought buster for Northeast Georgia.

Drought conditions persist, however, for Middle and South Georgia, and Stooksbury doesn’t expect that to let up.

“We are much more confident in saying that drought conditions will worsen (there) over the next couple of months,” he said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ four-week lake level forecast for Lanier, normally posted on the corps’ website, wasn’t available Sunday evening.

Lisa Coghlan, spokeswoman for the corps’ Mobile District, which includes Lake Lanier, said her agency takes a basinwide approach to managing the lakes.

“When there are drier conditions throughout the (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River) basin, we try to hold back as much water as we possibly can at Lake Lanier,” Coghlan said.

The Lake Lanier Association has long advocated raising Lanier’s full pool level to 1,073 feet, creating a larger supply of water and providing a solution to the long water wars fight between Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

The group has stepped up efforts this year, earning endorsements from several area governments.

“Additionally, the Georgia General Assembly has recently appropriated $2 million for a study on the 1,073 concept,” said Joanna Cloud, the organization’s executive director.

“We are hopeful the (corps) will initiate that study to look at the engineering aspects of raising the lake as well as the impact on downstream users,” she added.

The group feels that raising the lake “will act as an insurance policy to downstream users, helping to ensure enough water is available during times of drought, while giving our region more of a buffer against extremely low lake levels which adversely impact boating safety and our local economy,” Cloud said.


2011 Annual Membership Meeting

April 14th, 2011 Posted by Annual Meeting 0 comments on “2011 Annual Membership Meeting”

The annual meeting is slated for Thursday, May 19. This year, the LLA is offering, at no charge, three concurrent one-hour educational workshops for our members. The workshops include landscaping with native plants for lake-front properties with master gardener Pam Keene, Lake Lanier fishing techniques with professional fishing guide Ken Studivant, and boating safety with U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Education office Mike Atkinson.

The workshop sessions will begin at 5:00PM. The annual meeting will begin at 6:00PM. The meeting will be held at the Conference Center of the Forsyth campus of Lanier Technical College, 7745 Majors Road, Cumming. It is open to members and non-members. Appetizers and non-alcoholic drinks will be served.

Thursday, May 19th at 6:00PM at the Lanier Tech Conference Center. The address for the conference center is 7745 Majors Road, Cumming, GA  30041.

Directions going North:
• 400 North
• Take Exit 13, Route 141
• Right onto Route 141
• Right onto Ronald Reagan Boulevard
• Entrance to Forsyth Conference Center is before intersection of Majors Road on the right

Directions going South:
• 400 Sorth
• Take Exit 13, Route 141
• Left onto Route 141
• Right onto Ronald Reagan Boulevard
• Entrance to Forsyth Conference Center is before intersection of Majors Road on the right
View Larger Map

Ga. asks appeals court to overturn water ruling

March 9th, 2011 Posted by Water Quantity 0 comments on “Ga. asks appeals court to overturn water ruling”

A long-running dispute threatening metro Atlanta’s main water supply for 3 million people went before appellate judges Wednesday who suggested they could revise or overturn a looming order that would severely restrict the city’s use of water from Lake Lanier.

In Forsyth County, fight goes out of YMCA Bethel Park development battle

February 25th, 2011 Posted by Off the Water 0 comments on “In Forsyth County, fight goes out of YMCA Bethel Park development battle”

Behind the scenes, the three-way tug of war engaging Forsyth County, the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the development of Bethel Park on Lake Lanier has gone on for five years.

Ruling may end battle of Bethel, Both parties look to future

February 21st, 2011 Posted by Off the Water 0 comments on “Ruling may end battle of Bethel, Both parties look to future”

Neither side was surprised by the U.S. Court of Appeals decision to deny of Forsyth County’s request to stop development of a lakeside park in northeastern Forsyth.