Master Water Control Manual Update Environmental Impact Statement for the Apalachicola – Chattahoochee – Flint River Basin
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has released the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin water control manual and draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public review. The draft EIS was published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on October 2, 2015. The public comment period has been extended and will end on January 15, 2016. To download a copy of the draft EIS click here.
Public comments may be submitted via the following methods:
· Email - to: ACF-WCM@usace.army.mil.
· Letter - to: Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District,
Attn: PD-EI (ACF-DEIS), P.O. Box 2288, Mobile, AL 36628
The USACE is updating the water control plans and manuals for the ACF Basin in order to improve operations for authorized purposes to reflect changed conditions since the manuals were last developed. Updating the Water Control Manuals is needed to determine how the federal projects in the ACF Basin should adjust operations for their authorized purposes in light of current conditions and applicable law. The action will result in updated plans and manuals that comply with existing USACE regulations and reflect operations under existing congressional authorizations, taking into account changes in basin hydrology and demands from years of growth and development, new/rehabilitated structural features, legal developments, and environmental issues.
The EIS being prepared for the water control manual update will also consider, along with operations for all authorized purposes, an expanded range of water supply alternatives associated with the Buford Dam/Lake Lanier project, including current levels of water supply withdrawals and additional amounts that Georgia has requested from Lake Lanier and downstream at Atlanta.
The ACF River Basin water management operations are described in a basin-wide Master Water Control Manual. Operations specific to each USACE managed reservoir are described in reservoir-specific Water Control Manuals and are included within the overall Master Water Control Manual.
Water Control Manuals outline the regulation schedules for each project and specifications for storage and releases from each reservoir. Water Control Manuals outline policies and data protocols for flood risk management operations and drought contingency operations. Updated Water Control Manuals are needed to enable managers to strike the best balance possible for the many purposes and demands. A complex set of factors is needed to determine appropriate water management at each lake. In addition to the authorized project purposes, power contract commitments, hydrologic and climatologic factors, downstream lake and basin-wide conditions, potential threats of flood and drought, and lake levels must all be considered. It is a tough balancing act.
The information contained herein is for general informational purposes only and is subject to change.