Savannah River Basin Partnership



Basin Drought Plans

Drought impact on Lake Hartwell - February 2008

In recent years, drought has been a major concern over much of Georgia and South Carolina. In fact, the drought of 2007-2009 was considered the drought-of-record. In particular, drought was particularly persistent in the Upper Savannah River Basin where Lakes Hartwell, Russell, and Thurmond are located.

Click below to download animated slide presentation showing map of the 2007-2009 drought (2 minute run - 27MB file - .pps file)

As a result, both Georgia and South Carolina implemented drought related restrictions on water systems in order to address stressed river, reservoir, and aquifer water supplies, and both states still closely monitor drought potential.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Savannah District) implemented release strategies as recommended by Georgia and South Carolina for reducing releases from Lake Thurmond while at the same time ensuring that downstream water users and fish populations were protected.

In response to drought, a Technical Coordination Group (TCG) was formed in December 2007 to evaluate and recommend management options for operation of the three lakes during critical drought periods.

This group consists of representatives from Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, Wildlife Resources Division, Coastal Resources Division; South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control and Department of Natural Resources; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Savannah District); the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the U.S. Geological Survey; the Nature Conservancy and the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy.

The TCG continues to meet, which is additional to the bi-weekly conference calls that are hosted by the Corps of Engineers, during which participants discuss and evaluate weather forecasts/rain predictions, current reservoir levels, and operation of the dams (releases).

Stranded no wake buoys on Lake Hartwell - October 2007

Related Links

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Savannah District)

Georgia Drought Information

South Carolina Drought Information









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Watershed Protection Branch
Georgia Environmental Protection Division
4220 International Parkway, Suite 101
Atlanta, GA 30354

Telephone: 404.675.6232
Fax: 404.675.6246
Copyright © 2008 by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. All rights reserved.
DHEC Bureau of Water
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 898-4300
Fax: (803) 898-4215