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Posted 2/15/2018

Release no. 18-015

Public Affairs

Mobile, Ala. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District announced today that Lake Sidney Lanier in Northern Georgia reached full winter pool for the first time since May 2016. Under the Army Corps of Engineers’ Water Control Manuals for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin, a full winter pool for the lake is achieved when water levels reach 1070’.

Mobile District Water Management Chief James Hathorn attributed current water levels to the efficiency of drought operations that the district implemented in 2017, and heavy precipitation over the last 10 days.  

“Two things have contributed to reaching full winter pool this year,” Hathorn explained.  “It was a combination of enlisting drought operations for the [ACF River Basin] at the right time over the course of the last year, and heavy precipitation in the area over the last ten days.”

The district entered drought operations in the spring of 2017, but suspended them when sufficient rainfall increased water levels throughout the basin during the summer. In the fall, the basin once again experienced drought conditions and water levels remained stable. Operations and rainfall through 2017 provided the conditions for water levels at Lake Lanier to rise to 1066.03’ by Jan. 1, 2018.  Over the last ten days, heavy precipitation in the area brought the water level to its current elevation of 1070’.

Looking into the future, Hathorn expects water levels at Lake Lanier to remain at, or near, full winter pool through February. Beyond that, he is a little hesitant to predict.

“Beyond five weeks is difficult to forecast,” said Hathorn. “How water levels at Lake Lanier fare through the remainder of the spring and summer will depend greatly on the amount of rainfall that we receive across the entire ACF system because we operate it as a whole, and not by individual projects.”