Shorelines Reflect Lake Lanier Landscaping

If you are a homeowner on Lake Lanier, I am certain that you have been closely monitoring the recent reports regarding lake levels. Lake Lanier has dropped 2 feet in two weeks and is now at its lowest level since March 2009. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lake is currently at 1,058 feet above sea level, or 13 feet below full pool. The last time the level hit this mark was during the 2007-09 drought, when the all-time level of 1,050.79 was reached. The corps is optimistic and predicts that winter frontal systems moving through the Southeast may produce rain. As we saw in early October, a good soaking can add as much as a foot and a half to the level. But alternatively, the corps predicts they may drop an additional 3 feet by December 21 to 1,055.2 feet above sea level, a staggering foot per week! The winter full pool of 1,070 feet becomes effective Saturday.

The rapid drop is primarily due to an increase in the amount of water released by the corps. The corps announced in late October that it would release more water because of the drought conditions affecting the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin. The basin includes portions of Georgia, Florida and Alabama. According to Lisa Parker, a spokeswoman for the corps, water was leaving Lake Lanier at a rate of 2,500 cubic feet per second, up from the minimum release of 1,100 cubic feet per second. By law, the corps is required to release water to protect the endangered species that inhabit the southern end of the river system. The release maintains hydropower, fish and wildlife and water quality. With Hall County being rated as “abnormally dry,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s Report dated November 6, I am concerned that those of us living on Lake Lanier will soon become endangered species as well!