Water Resources of the United States

PROJECT ALERT NOTICE (GA) USGS Drought Activities in Georgia

Date: Thr, 16 Aug 2012 08:44:19 EDT

Summary: The USGS continues to closely monitor the drought conditions in the State of Georgia for the benefits of numerous stakeholders.

Event Information:

Hydrologic Conditions: Recent rains have eased the short-term drought conditions in the State of Georgia, with only the Altamaha and Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) watersheds currently recording "below normal" 7-day average flow conditions.

SURFACE-WATER: The USGS operates more than 320 real-time streamgages across the State to aid water planners during this ongoing drought that has persisted for two years. Currently 9 streamgages are setting historic low records, while another 15 are classified as "severe drought". No special operations beyond the regularly scheduled field trips have been performed in the past week.

GROUNDWATER: USGS also monitors groundwater levels in 178 wells throughout the State. Due to declining water levels the pressure transducer in one network well had to be lowered 30 ft. As of August 15, 2012, seventeen of the wells in the real-time network ranged from below normal to low and seven were in the normal range. The below normal to low wells were throughout the state, with the exception of some wells in extreme northwest Georgia, along the coastal areas, and in south central Georgia along the Florida State line where recent local thunderstorms have been occurring.

WATER-QUALITY: USGS monitors a mixture of continuous water-quality parameters in real-time at 107 locations across the State, along with discrete and/or automated sampling at more than 80 locations. No special operations beyond the regularly scheduled field trips have been performed in the past week.

SPECIAL PROJECTS: USGS has scheduled a low-flow synoptic effort in the upper Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin for the week of August 27th. This will provide a broader snapshot of surface and groundwater conditions to augment the long-term data networks in support of the ongoiing WaterSmart research in the ACF.

COMMUNICATIONS & OUTREACH: Numerous data inquiries have been answered regarding the ongoing drought conditions. The USGS is one of several presenters in an ongoing bi-weekly drought briefing for the ACF stakeholders hosted by NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), and also participates in drought briefings hosted by the US Army Corps of Engineers for the Savannah River Basin.

Map of below normal 7-day average streamflow compared to historical streamflow for 8/15/2012 in Georgia

Sub-Region: Central South; Region: Central United States

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