Press Releases

Reservoir Releases Support Basin Wide Demands

USACE, Mobile Distirct
Published Sept. 28, 2023

MOBILE, Ala. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, water management officials provide an update today on current water releases from federally operated reservoirs Buford, West Point, Walter F. George, George Andrews, and Jim Woodruff on the Chattahoochee River projects. 

The recent concerns are the declining federal reservoir levels in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin.   

The projects are authorized to provide their respective region’s populations with hydroelectric power, recreation, water supply, fish and wildlife enhancement, water quality, flood control, and navigation. Three storage projects, Buford, West Point, and W.F. George are balanced to meet those purposes. 

Water is typically released through the turbines to meet the peak power demand while concurrently meeting other needs. During non-peak periods, only minimum flows are released from the projects. Reservoirs are operated conservatively during dry conditions. The decline in reservoir level is typical this time of year due to decreased inflows into the ACF River Basin and higher evaporation levels in the late summer and fall. However, below-normal rainfall has caused reservoir levels to fall below the median for this time of year.  

Currently, releases to the Apalachicola River from the Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam are approximately 7,700 cubic feet per second. As conditions allow, USACE will continue slowly reducing releases to 5,000 cfs. The overall conditions in the Flint Basin and Chattahoochee Basin are abnormally dry. Releases from the upstream storage projects, Buford, West Point, and W.F. George, contribute to meeting Apalachicola River flow requirements to protect threatened and endangered species.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, released on Sept. 28, indicates drought conditions are beginning to expand within the ACF basin and the southeast. Reservoir levels are expected to continue declining until winter rains begin. Four-week projections of reservoir levels are available from the Water Management webpage

“Taking extra caution is key during lower water levels,” said Dustin Gautney, Mobile District’s Chief of Public Affairs. “While the enjoyment of our waterways and reservoirs is of great importance to us, public safety is our greatest concern.

In low water level conditions, underwater hazards such as shoals, tree stumps, and old roadbeds are closer to the surface and pose greater danger to boaters and swimmers.

“The best way to practice safety on the water is always to remember to wear your life jacket and watch for obstructions,” said Gautney.

For additional information on water levels or safety, please contact the Mobile District Public Affairs Office at (251) 654-4564.  

Public Affairs
(251) 690-2505

Release no. 23-018