The Daily Home website has an interview with E. Patrick Robbins, chief of public affairs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District. He goes into quite a bit of detail regarding his handling of Allatoona:
“Normal operations at Allatoona Dam call for peak power generation of two to six hours per day. However, under drought management provisions in the water control plan for Allatoona Dam, releases may be reduced to a continuous minimum flow of 240 cubic feet per second with no peaking generation for extended periods, including the spring refill period.”
While the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) river basin, which includes Logan Martin Lake, has received significant rainfall recently, a return to dry conditions is expected to occur as the 2006-2009 drought persists.
“Conditions have improved over the last two drought years,” Robbins said. “But, they are still not back to normal. With the uncertainty in the long term forecast, we believe it is prudent to try and refill Lake Allatoona earlier than normal.”
In eliminating peak power releases, he said, the Corps is able to conserve storage in Lake Allatoona while avoiding or minimizing impacts to downstream reservoirs and water resources.
“The long term benefit of taking this action is to attempt to increase storage in Lake Allatoona for meeting the multiple downstream water resource demands during the summer and fall,”
APC variance requests, allowing the utility company to refill its reservoirs early along the ACT basin, are part of the drought management effort to help meet the growing need for water in the Southeast and along the ACT river basin.
“This action is a prudent step by the Corps and APC to store as much water as possible during the spring refill period to be able to meet basin needs if the drought conditions persist,” Robbins said.