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Friday, October 2, 2009 - 12:41pm

Savannah River Flows Could Be Cut Again

Updated: 5 years ago.
Thurmond Dam near Augusta controls the flow of water in the Savannah River downstream of Augusta. Drought could cause its flow to be reduced. (photo US Army Corp of Engineers.)

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is citing drought concerns in asking the public -- once again -- for comments on reducing water flows on the Savannah River.

Officials with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Savannah District say, they're being told to expect a wetter than normal winter. But, they're not counting on it.

So, they're asking the public for comments on a proposal to reduce flows out of Thurmond Dam near Augusta from 3,600 to 3,100 cubic feet per second.

The reduced levels would take effect only if drought conditions worsen. It could be the second year in a row the Corp has reduced flow levels.

It could mean more water behind the dam and what one Corp official called a "pretty low flow" for users downstream.

The Corp doesn't believe the reduced flow will affect the environment significantly. In the past, however, downstream uses, like the City of Savannah, which uses the Savannah River for drinking water, have defended higher flow levels.