Mr. Douglas W. Lamont, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on March 30, 2017 allowing for the approval of the Water Control Manuals for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. Brigadier General David Turner, Commander South Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, approved the Water Control Manuals for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin on March 30, 2017. The signature by the South Atlantic Division Commander signifies that the impacts of the water control manual update, as presented in the EIS, are in compliance with pertinent laws, executive orders, and regulations and have been fully considered in making the decision.
The updated plans and manuals comply with existing Corps of Engineers 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. Corps regulations also provide specific policy and guidance for inclusion of drought contingency plans as part of the Corps of Engineers' overall water control management activities.
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 are all be considered.