CAN WE HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING
IN THE MIDST OF A DROUGHT!
I think so, if we learn a little about Lake Lanier.
People are now taking note of Lake Lanier dropping by 6 inches per week. That's bad enough, but a few weeks ago, someone opened the flood gates and dropped the level by 16 inches. Yep...that's right, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)Weather Service website, Lake Lanier dropped by 16 inches between November 9th and November 16th. HOLY COW! I I could almost feel the wind pick up speed as it made it's way to Lanier to fill the void. Makes me wonder just how many tons of sediment continue to migrate into the lake from the constant raising and lowering of the water level.
Without looking into the reason why the Army Corps has decided to rid Lake Lanier of so much water, I start to form my own conclusions. Some of my conclusions are a little embarrassing now that I've checked into it, but maybe you've thought some of the same things. Reasons like....."The Army Corps doesn't have a care in the world about us here in Atlanta"; or "Just because Atlanta won the right to use Lanier water, the Army Corps (based out of Alabama) is going to see that we understand that they still have control", or "Are you kidding, who cares about the mussels in the gulf....aren't stripers and spotted bass populations in Lanier more important?" Of course these and many others are ignorant conclusions based on no facts and are simply too embarrassing to mention to anyone who might know better. So when I looked into the reasons why Lanier is dropping like a rock, I began to understand and have since given a lot of credit to the people who have the very difficult task of managing what is considered by many to be the most stressed out and complicated watershed in the country given it's geographic size (very small) and the human population (very huge) that utilize its water.
Just in case you didn't think about it, the drought doesn't have to be where you live and get your water for it not to affect your water quantity and quality. When it doesn't rain in the Chattahoochee River and related watersheds, it doesn't rain for millions of people no matter where they reside in the basin. Yes, fishermen in the gulf (the infamous mussels), hydroelectric power generating plants, drinking water intakes, people in south Georgia, east Alabama, and Florida panhandle need the water too! We are most definitely in a drought STILL, and to be honest I'm sick and tired of it, BUT there's nothing I can do other than to pray, do a rain dance, and be grateful it's worse. The Army Corps of Engineers must release additional water through Buford Dam and from West Point Lake to help others in Georgia, eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. They're also drawing down Walter F. George Lake on the Alabama-Georgia line.
The Army Corps says we can expect Lake Lanier to drop about 6 inches per week for the foreseeable future. West Point Lake's estimate is twice that at 12 inches per week. So....given that it's Thanksgiving season, I hope you'll join me in being thankful that we're above the lake's lowest level of 1050.79, which was occurred on December 26, 2008. We'll hopefully not test that mark, but if we do, we'll all just have to deal with it and make sure the Army Corps level gauge is calibrated correctly!
HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT TURKEY DAY!