Brigadier General David Turner, Commander South Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, signed the Record of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and approved the Water Control Manuals for the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River basin on May 4, 2015. 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.
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. The purpose and need for updating the Water Control Manuals is to determine how the federal projects in the ACT Basin should adjust operations for their authorized purposes in light of current conditions and applicable law. A complex set of factors is needed to determine appropriate water management at each lake. In addition to the constraints of the authorized project purposes, power contract commitments, hydrologic, climatologic factors, downstream lake and basin wide conditions, potential threats of flood and drought, and lake levels must all be considered.
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 of Engineers regulations also provide specific policy and guidance for inclusion of drought contingency plans as part of the Corps' overall water control management activities.