The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin Water Control Manual and draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for state and agency review on December 7, 2016. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will publish the final EIS on Dec. 16, 2016. The review period will end on Jan. 14, 2017.
The USACE is updating the water control plans and manuals for the ACF Basin in order to improve authorized project operations and to reflect changed conditions since the manuals were last developed. The updated Water Control Manual will inform how the federal projects in the ACF Basin will adjust operations, if necessary, based on existing law. The EIS will also consider, along with operations for all authorized purposes, an expanded range of water supply alternatives associated with Lake Lanier, among them current levels of water supply withdrawals and additional amounts that Georgia has requested from the lake and downstream. Reservoir-specific Water Control Manuals are included within the overall Master Water Control Manual. Reservoir level Water Control Manuals outline the regulation schedules for each project including storage and releases from each reservoir. The manuals also address data protocols for flood risk management operations and drought contingency operations.
The Manual is still subject to modification as a result of the decision to be issued by Special Master Ralph Lancaster in the Florida v. Georgia litigation before the United States Supreme Court in which Florida is seeking a consumption cap for Georgia’s water usage. That decision may come as early as this month