Lake Lanier is at its lowest level since the historic drought of several years ago, and if much-needed rain doesn’t arrive soon, metro Atlanta could revisit the days of sweeping water restrictions and recreational nightmares.
Monday’s reading was 1,057.82 feet above sea level, 13 feet below optimum operating level or “full pool.”
The last time Lake Lanier was that low was March 2009, the waning days of a two-year drought that ravaged the state.
The difference this time is that the lake levels have not been consistantly low for a long period and the region is heading into vital winter months when rains traditionally recharge reservoirs in the Southeast.
“(This) is a concern and will require above-average rainfall during the winter and spring to bring the levels back next summer,” said Doug Hooker, Atlanta Regional Commission executive director. “A dryer-than-average winter could be especially problematic for both metro Atlanta and our downstream neighbors if we are heading for another drought next year.”