Water Resources of the United States

PROJECT ALERT NOTICE () USGS Drought Activities in Georgia

Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 15:31:54 EDT

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

HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS: Drought conditions have increased over the past week, with severe drought now in the Etowah, Upper Ocmulgee, and Middle Chattahoochee hydrologic units. Moderate to below normal hydrologic drought conditions cover the vast majority of the State. Only the upper Tennessee basins and the Suwannee, Alapaha, and Ochlockonee River basins are in the normal range. Recent rains associated with Isaac may help to slightly mitigate drought conditions across the State.

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 two streamgages are setting historic low records, while another twenty-seven 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. As of August 30, 2012, sixteen of the wells in the real-time network ranged from below normal to low and 11 wells 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, one well in southwest Georgia, and one well 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: The low-flow synoptic effort scheduled for this week in the upper Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin has been suspended due to Hurricane Isaac. Plans are to try again the week of September 10th. 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.


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