An important function of Lake Sidney Lanier is to store water when there is a surplus, to use during drought conditions or periods of reduced inflow. In the southeast rain falls nearly every month, however the need for water in the summer and fall can often exceed the natural supply.
Lake Lanier was built to serve many purposes including hydropower production, flood control, navigation, water quality and supply, recreation and fish & wildlife management. To meet these purposes and the water needs of downstream users the lakes water level will periodically fluctuate. Sometimes meeting these purposes may require one or more purposes being given a higher priority than the others.
The Mobile District Water Management Section meets every Wednesday with representatives from the various project waterways to exchange information concerning the operation of the district’s river systems and lakes. Water management decisions for the upcoming week are determined using the information obtained at the weekly meeting and a report is prepared that summarizes the conditions in each of the river basins. Operation of the lakes are also guided by use of action zones. The action zones provide guidelines on meeting the project purposes for each lake.
To learn more about how the Corps of Engineers manages water on the Mobile District's waterways visit our Water Management page.