The United States Army Corps of Engineers Friday announced it will begin implementing reduced water releases from Buford Dam on Lake Lanier beginning Saturday.
The initial request from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources was made in October. At that time, the corps denied the initial request and agreed to re-evaluate it monthly.
According to the corps, conditions in the river system didn't meet criteria for the request in November and earlier this month. According to a corps press release, conditions in the middle and lower basin reservoirs have improved slightly.
"Given the current basin conditions and hydrologic forecasts, the requested flow reduction from 750 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 650 cfs is a prudent action to conserve system storage," Mobile District Public Affairs Officer E. Patrick Robbins said.
Georgia DNR requested the flow reductions until the end of next April. Robbins said the corps has agreed to that.
But before lake area residents get too excited about less water going out, Robbins said the reduced release won't be obvious at the dam.
"In order to avoid confusion, it's important to note that a 100 cfs decrease will be invisible to the general public seeing releases from Buford Dam," Robbins said.
"We will still be releasing the necessary flows for water supply and system needs, which will be reduced by 100 cfs."