Tag Archives: hydropower

Comp Study ends: Water quality, other concerns, leave drought plan unchanged

Officials here ended the second interim of the Savannah River Basin Comprehensive Study due to inadequate analysis, a lack of full partnership concurrence on the recommendation and insufficient funding. As we drafted the report we expected to recommend “Alternative 2,” … Continue reading

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Hartwell’s teamwork is a powerful thing

Last week while most folks were winding down for Super Bowl weekend, hydropower staff at Hartwell were gearing up to keep their generators functional. Around lunchtime on Thursday (Jan. 30), Nick Ruff (hydropower electrician) and John Clark (hydropower mechanic) smelled … Continue reading

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Thurmond: Set a course for full pool

After what feels like a decade in the making, contractors finished repairing the 23 seals on Thurmond’s gates last week. (Full exhale).

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Accounting for the basin’s smallest stakeholders

For much of the year, we concentrate on stakeholders living on or around our three reservoirs along the Savannah River Basin. However, for a short period each spring, our focus shifts to the residents in those reservoirs.

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Why Augusta’s river level shouldn’t determine Thurmond discharge

(Editor’s Note: This post, written by Savannah District Deputy District Engineer Erik Blechinger, was published in the Augusta Chronicle Feb. 9.) Over the course of several public meetings and feedback on social media there appears to be misunderstanding over what … Continue reading

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Savannah District Commander: Our system is a magnificent design

By Col. Daniel Hibner, Savannah District Commander We are always grateful for an opportunity to explain how we operate the dams and reservoirs on the Savannah River. The Augusta Chronicle editorial staff has given us one such opportunity based on … Continue reading

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Timing is everything (except when it’s not)

It’s safe to say the last few months have been good to the basin in terms of rainfall. In May, Hartwell and Thurmond blew their averages out of the water, receiving more than double their normal precipitation (9.6 and 7.4 … Continue reading

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Drought flow rates changed in February: here’s why

Many of our stakeholders have asked why outflow at Thurmond Dam recently increased from 3,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 4,000 cfs. Let me answer those questions and perhaps shed some light on our operational process. First some background: … Continue reading

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J. Strom Thurmond Dam, then and now

Eight years in the making, the J. Strom Thurmond Dam was a monumental task for engineers and construction workers in the 1940s and ‘50s. Archival footage in this video shows the steps they took to layer power plant fixtures as … 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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