Water Resources of the United States

PROJECT ALERT NOTICE (GA) USGS Drought Activities in Georgia

Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 07:52:20 EDT

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

HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS: Georgia continues to be the center of drought in the Southeast United States (see national drought map link). "Severe" hydrologic drought conditions exist in the Etowah River basin, while "moderate" conditions exist in the Altamaha, Middle Chattahoochee, and upper portions of the Etowah River basins. Elsewhere, "below normal" conditions exist throughout the rest of the state, with the exceptions of the upper reaches of the Tennessee River Basin and the south-central region in Georgia.

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 four streamgages are setting historic low records, while another sixteen 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 September 13, 2012, 16 of the wells in the real-time network ranged from below normal to low and 10 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, one well in northeast Georgia, along the coastal areas, 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 was completed this week in the upper Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin. More than 160 surface-water locations were measured in a four day period. These will provide a broader snapshot of surface and groundwater interactions with respect to septic systems return flow 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 for United States
Map of below normal 7-day average streamflow compared to historical streamflow for Georgia

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

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