Basin takes a break from drought recovery

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The momentum the Savannah River Basin had been building in 2017 came to an abrupt halt last month when the sub-basins registered abysmal levels of rainfall.

November is typically the second driest month of the year for the basin (with October being the driest), but last month was dry even in relative terms.

Hartwell collected a mere 0.81 inches – the lowest for November since records have been kept (1948).

That is an excruciatingly small amount considering we’re still recovering from the drought and that Hartwell averages 4.52 inches in November.

Russell and Thurmond posted slightly better results with 1.27 and 1.34 inches on their 3.54- and 3.32-inch averages, respectively.

However, both were among the bottom 10 for worst monthly rainfall in November.

While we have received above average rain for six of the 11 months in 2017, we’re still working to overcome the deficit the most recent drought created.

The good news is that the rainy season is just around the corner and the rainfall we do get has a greater chance of translating into higher reservoir levels.

Bottom line: We still need rain.

In other, more positive news (and as some of our readers have already mentioned), our app is back up!

The app provides information on lake levels, rainfall, forecasts of stream flows and projected releases, not to mention a link to this blog. It’s available on Google Play and the App Store (Search using USACE Savannah).

~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office

About US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District oversees a multi-million dollar military construction program at 11 Army and Air Force installations in Georgia and North Carolina. We also manage water resources across the Coastal Georgia region, including maintenance dredging of the Savannah and Brunswick harbors; operation of three hydroelectric dams and reservoirs along the upper Savannah River; and administration of an extensive stream and wetland permitting and mitigation program within the state of Georgia. Follow us on Twitter @SavannahCorps and on

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  • Georgiasportsman

    You have identified the problem. Now lets see you react and take corrective action.

  • David DuMars

    Maybe if you water management skills were as good a reporting the obvious skills were, Lake Thurmond would not be the disaster it is every year…. it funny how you maintain 221.20 for two months with no water, but during the summer with plenty of water it steady drops….

  • David DuMars

    And ad insult to injury, the bill for by dock that has been sitting on dirt for two years just came…

  • Johnny Landreth

    It sounds like to me that we need to be cutting the flow. We are in a very bad drought so let’s cut the flow. Don’t wait until it gets worse. Cut the flow again right now. Keowee is still full. If duke needs more power they can keep pumping up to Jocassee and let it flow back into Keowee to generate power. Please take corrective measures now don’t wait any longer. I am thinking about forming a Savannah River water resource group that would be open to everyone in the region. This group would involve lake property owners, non lake property owners, Sportsman, Boaters, Skiers, and anyone interested in better management of our water resources. If you are interested, please email me at cat.servant @ hotmail .com. Individuals have a very little voice but thousands tote a big stick.

  • emac1234

    The lake has only dropped a small amount since the winter flow was reduced. This has been with little or no rainfall. Can you imagine how good our lakes would look if we would run 3600 as soon as we see a problem?

    • It may look simple but a majority of that effect is related to seasonal decreases in transpiration and evaporation. Here are 2 previous posts on the topic: and
      ~Jeremy Buddemeier