The real solution to the drought

Last night’s hard rain was great for everyone concerned over Lake Hartwell, but the Army Corps of Engineers takes the position that while recent rain has been a relief, the only way to assure an exit from the drought is regular rainfall for more than a year. As for why the Corps’ requests for lower flows were turned down, it says, “Ultimately, we could not get support from all our cooperating agencies to keep flows at 3,800 cfs (cubic feet per second.) For this reason we are now targeting 4,000 cfs in accordance with the drought plan. Although this outcome may be discouraging for upper-basin stockholders, it is important to understand the cooperating agencies did grant unanimous approval for the July 2012 Environmental Assessment which allowed us to alter the drought plan and reduce flows to 3,100 cfs from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31 in Drought Level 3. If not for this approval, we would have flowed at 3,800 cfs throughout all of this winter”—-Russell Wicke, Savannah District Corporate Communications.