Less Lanier water to be released

LAWRENCEVILLE - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed Friday to reduce the required water flow at a creek downstream from Lake Lanier in a plan that should keep more water in the region's primary water source.

The flow at Peachtree Creek has been reduced by 100 cubic feet of water per second, Corps spokesman Pat Robbins said, saving the equivalent of 748 gallons each second.

On average, Robbins said, 450 cubic feet of water will be released from the lake each second to maintain minimum flow requirements downstream. That number is down from more than 1,000 cubic feet per second that were being released earlier this month.

Robbins said while the actual amount of water released at the Buford Dam will fluctuate depending on rainfall, the goal is to keep Lake Lanier's level from dropping further.

"In theory, it will allow us the ability to store more water," he said. "It's not something we would do if it wasn't for the drought situation."

The change went into effect Friday, and will last through April 30, at the request of the state. After that date, flows will again increase.

Robbins said Georgia Power also controls a dam between Lake Lanier and the Peachtree Creek gauge, and that the Corps will be working with the power company to fine tune the flows.

But what the system really needs is more water.

"We need like a tropical rain," Robbins said. "We need serious rain."