Category Archives: Declaration/Projection

Upper Savannah reservoirs enter Drought Level 1

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The three reservoirs on the Savannah River operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declared the first drought level Tuesday in response to the pool elevation at J. Strom Thurmond Lake dipping below 326.0 feet above mean sea level (ft-msl). Entering … Continue reading

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The good, the bad, and the possible

Lake lovers got their Valentine’s Day gift last week from Mother Nature as Lake Hartwell pushed past its February rainfall average and the Savannah River Basin finally entered Drought Level 1.

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January’s Rainfall was better – but more is needed for recovery

The first month of 2017 brought a welcome change in rainfall; all three sub-basins exceeded average precipitation for the first time in almost five months. Hartwell received 104 percent of normal rainfall; Russell, 115 percent of normal; and Thurmond cashed … Continue reading

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Forecasters see mixed signals leading into spring

In the first Water Resources Outlook of 2017, NOAA climatologists give their predictions for rainfall and the potential for drought recovery.

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Crystal ball not so crystal clear – 2017

Once again Balancing the Basin called on its old sage to make a prediction on the summer conditions at the Corps’ Savannah River reservoirs. His editors told him to keep it serious this year. Writing the 2016 version of this … Continue reading

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Upper Savannah reservoirs enter Drought Level 1

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The three reservoirs on the Savannah River operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered the first drought level today when pool elevation at Thurmond Lake dipped below 326 feet above mean sea level (ft-msl). Entering … Continue reading

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On watermelons and water levels

Summer in the Southeast means many things. Heat and humidity come to mind first, of course, but so do things like lazy Sunday afternoons, fishing trips, water skiing, firefly chasing and eating watermelon under a shade tree. In the upper … Continue reading

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Commander: Persistent, below normal rainfall expected to impact lake levels

Since I took command of the Savannah District in June 2015 we’ve been fortunate to have adequate, and sometimes abundant, rainfall and inflows to maintain full reservoir levels. Beginning in January we observed below-average rainfall throughout the basin, yet were … Continue reading

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Living on borrowed rain

Now that it’s officially summer, the heat is on in more ways than one. Namely, if the trend of sub-par precipitation doesn’t improve, the basin could enter drought level 1 before August. That same trajectory would bring us to drought … Continue reading

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Savannah River Comprehensive Study moves forward

Researchers working on the Savannah River Comprehensive Study reached another milestone recently when they completed modeling for the first four drought operation plan alternatives. The multiagency study seeks to provide a better understanding for the impacts and risks associated with … Continue reading

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