Incorporating the cold-water pool in Lake Lanier conservation storage management
Rasmussen, Todd C.
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Lake Lanier typically declines during the summer and fall to meet downstream flow requirements. While low lake levels during the summer and fall of 2007 caused concerns about depleting the conservation pool, another concern is the depletion of the cold-water (hypolimnetic) pool that lies below the surface warmwater (epilimnetic) pool. Typically, the lake is stratified during the summer. Discharges at Buford Dam are mainly from the deeper, cold-water pool, which is normally replenished during the winter and spring. The Buford Fish Hatchery - and the designated trout stream downstream of Buford Dam - depends on these cold-water releases. Increased lake discharges may exhaust this pool of cold water before winter inflows replenish it. This study uses historic data to predict the potential decline of the cold-water pool as a function of reservoir releases. The decline may be used to forecast downstream water quality impacts resulting from alternative Lake Lanier operations.