Savannah River Basin Study - Reassessment of Basin Needs and Priorities
The Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has recently completed an assessment of the water-related resources needs of the Savannah River Basin (Corps of Engineers, 1990). This paper discusses the needs that were examined. It then discusses possible management techniques that could be applied by the Corps in the management of its multipurpose projects. Since this study was reconnaissance in nature, the major conclusion and recommendation was that a comprehensive survey should be conducted on how to meet various needs through reallocating portions of storage in the multipurpose projects. Throughout the past 100 years, the Corps of Engineers has conducted a number of studies on the water resources needs of the Savannah River Basin. In February 1987, the Corps of Engineers prepared a reconnaissance level report (Corps of Engineers, 1987), assessing the need for reallocation of storage at the three Federal reservoirs--J. Strom Thurmond, Richard B. Russell, and Hartwell. At that time, there was no identified need for specific reallocation studies. The successive droughts of the eighties have since prompted new concerns over the allocated storage. Additional water supply requests, not anticipated in the earlier study, have occurred. The continued, drought-induced drawdown prompted concerns about providing more stable pool levels for recreation. Furthermore, the prolonged nature of this drought cycle has caused heightened concerns over water quality in the lower Savannah River. Hydropower customers are concerned over the curtailment of power production to accommodate what, they feel, are unauthorized or nonpaying purposes.