Category Archives: Water Management

Irma expected to improve drought conditions in upper basin

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District said today that the Hartwell, Russell, and Thurmond Reservoirs are equipped and able to safely capture forecasted rainfall from Hurricane Irma.

Posted in Flood Risk Management, Water Management, Water Safety | 37 Comments

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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Drought continues to dominate Southeast

The rain gauges throughout much of the Southeast have been parched … or in some cases flooded, depending on which side of the region you focus on. This month’s Water Resources Outlook by NOAA’s Southeast River Forecast Center focuses primarily … Continue reading

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SHEP’s water impoundment nearly 30% complete

Now almost 30 percent complete, the raw-water storage impoundment dike walls are currently four feet above ground level. With a circumference of two-thirds of a mile, they will be 29 feet high, encircle 17 acres and hold 97 million gallons … Continue reading

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Richard B. Russell – not your average hydropower plant

(A version of this article originally appeared on this blog May 29, 2013.) The youngest of Savannah District’s three multipurpose dam and lake projects, Richard B. Russell Dam differs from Hartwell and Thurmond, not just size and appearance, but also … Continue reading

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Dams demand best of operator trainees

(Above: Les Rice guides visitors through a quick tour of the J. Strom Thurmond Dam.) AUGUSTA, Ga. – J. Strom Thurmond Dam currently operates at 98 percent proficiency but its operators are expected to perform above this percentage. Operator Trainee … 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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Listening to the pulse of the Savannah River

A soft breeze rustled the marsh grasses as James “Jim” Rothnie carefully placed a fresh canvas on his easel. Morning light sparkled on the waters of the ACE Basin nearby. Quietly, he crept closer to the dozen lounging birds, their … Continue reading

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The ‘other’ outflows

Summer officially arrived this week and as the temperatures rise, consider that the routine releases from our dams which send water downstream aren’t the only factors that contribute to reservoir levels. Two invisible processes, evaporation and transpiration, account for a substantial amount of … Continue reading

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