Updates on the Savannah River Basin Comprehensive and Flood Storage studies

Update on the Flood Storage Assessment
In October 2013 we announced an initiative to assess our flood storage capacity to test the possibility of reducing our current flood storage allotment. More specifically, the study will provide information that will better define the present need for flood storage in the basin. In the announcement we estimated the study would take approximately 12 months. Based on recent updates from the Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC), the organization conducting most of the study, the results will be delayed about six more months. Continue reading

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Sound science is critical for balancing ecological, economic needs of the basin

Editor’s Note: This article is authored by Oscar P. Flite III, Ph.D. CEO and Senior Scientist at Phinizy Center for Water Sciences. Dr. Flite and his organization are involved in scientific research on the Savannah River that provides critical information needed to make informed decisions about the basin’s natural resources.

phinizy_logoIn 2005, Phinizy Center for Water Sciences (formerly known as Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy), a nonprofit research and education center in Augusta, Georgia, developed a Savannah River research program with funds originating from individuals, foundations, municipalities, and industries, along with a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. From 2006 to 2009 those funds helped develop a continuous monitoring network, a significant water quality database, and an assessment of the aquatic insect community along the Savannah River. Data were collected at 10 locations from 7 miles below Thurmond Dam to near Clyo, Georgia. The initial data allowed us to develop a complete understanding of how the Savannah River functions from a chemical, physical, biological, and geological perspective. It was also valuable in helping Georgia and South Carolina improve regulatory water quality modeling efforts. A summary of the data and analyses can be found in our final project report.

Continue reading

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Hartwell overcomes dry season with above average rainfall, Thurmond, Russell near average

October marks the traditional dry season for the Savannah River Basin reflected by typical lower precipitation recorded at Thurmond and Russell sub-basins compared to other months in the year. Continue reading

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Commander: An open letter on Savannah River Basin drought management

Editor’s Note: Since entering drought level 1 some stakeholders in the upper basin have written urging Savannah District leaders should take immediate and dramatic actions to preserve reservoir levels. Col. Thomas Tickner, the District Commander addresses these emails in this open-letter posting.

Thank you for your recent input and your views on managing the Savannah River basin. As my staff and I have said many times, we take this responsibility very seriously. I have assigned top-notch experts to oversee the actions we take to keep the multiple purposes of the river balanced. Continue reading

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Freshwater storage impoundment mitigates increased chlorides in Abercorn Creek

Editors Note: This is the sixth in a series of articles to explain environmental monitoring efforts associated with the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). This series will focus on the various monitoring activities that must take place as construction begins.

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Understanding the reverberating environmental impacts of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project has been a sizable undertaking for the Corps’ and its partners. Preserving high water quality standards is at the forefront of the Corps’ efforts to minimize adverse environmental effects that may result from the expansive project. Continue reading

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New operating agreement advances collaborative management of SRB water resources

Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA), and Duke Energy signed a new operating agreement in Elberton, Georgia, Oct. 17 defining how water resources will be shared among the Duke Energy and Corps reservoirs in the Savannah River Basin. This operating agreement will increase drought tolerance within the watershed and promote conservation efforts. Continue reading

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Sophisticated network monitors Savannah River estuary

Editors Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles to explain environmental monitoring efforts associated with the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). This series will focus on the various monitoring activities that must take place before construction begins.

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Ensuring healthy water quality is an essential part of environmental monitoring for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is partnering with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to monitor water quality in the estuary using a sophisticated network of continuous monitoring stations. Continue reading

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September rainfall ranks above average at Thurmond, Russell; below average at Hartwell

The final observed rainfall totals for September ranked above average at Thurmond and Russell sub basins, and below average at Hartwell sub basin.

Throughout September, the National Weather Service recorded rainfall on 24 days at Thurmond, 23 days at Hartwell, and 17 days at Russell. Continue reading

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Experts gather water quality data before beginning harbor deepening

Editors Note: This is the fourth in a series of articles to explain environmental monitoring efforts associated with the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). This series focuses on the various monitoring activities that must take place before construction begins.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Scientists and technicians recently completed intensive water quality monitoring in the Savannah harbor and estuary in preparation for the upcoming deepening of the harbor and shipping channel. Continue reading

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Commander: Savannah River Basin enters first drought level

By COL Thomas Tickner
Savannah District Commander

This past weekend Thurmond Reservoir levels dipped below 326 feet above mean sea level, which is the marker for our first drought trigger. This level indicates the Savannah River Basin (SRB) is in mild drought.

Operationally, this means we will restrict release rates at Thurmond Dam to 4,200 cubic feet per second (cfs) until Hartwell and Thurmond reservoirs rise 2 feet above the trigger points for Drought Level 1. Continue reading

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