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Corps: Water release in basin will have minimal impact
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An easing of drought conditions has prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider normal downstream releases of water previously held in reservoirs during the drought.

The procedure change stems from provisions of a revised interim operating plan for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system that allow slightly less water to be released at Woodruff Dam on the Apalachicola River near the Florida border.

Lake advocates, as well as the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, had requested the reduced flow in order to keep a bit more water in Georgia.

Lisa Coghlan, a corps spokeswoman, has said the revised plan "has no impact on Lake Lanier."

"Initially, if we return to normal operations on June 1, there will be minimal impacts within the basin," Mobile District Public Affairs Officer E. Patrick Robbins said in a statement released Thursday.

"Due to the lower lakes being near full summer levels, we should be able to meet downstream needs with normal basin inflow for the foreseeable future," Robbins said.

"Releases from Lake Lanier will continue to be just for water quality and water supply requirements at this time."

In April, the corps decided to resume regular water discharges — 750 cubic feet per second, up from 650 — from Buford Dam into the Chattahoochee River, a move that upset some lake advocates and residents.

That move would mean "less than 2 inches a month of water surface," Coghlan has said.

As of Thursday afternoon, Lake Lanier was at 1,065.49 feet above sea level. Full pool is 1,071 feet.

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