Apala(nier)cola

The graph on the left provides a recent update on Lanier stage and headwater inflows to the Apalachicola from the Woodruff Dam.

The short story is that Woodruff outflows into the Apalachicola dropped at or below 5,000 cfs for the last half of 2007.

December 2007 rains saved the day: Woodruff outflows shot up to 30,000 cfs by the end of February. Currently they are back down around 10,000 cfs.

Lanier’s risen around 7 feet since it bottomed out in December 2007.

But it still has a way to go: its still around 10 feet below the long-term May average.

Don’t forget that Apalachicola is a continental river system: it peaks in late spring unlike south Florida river systems that typically crest in early fall.

All eyes will be on Lanier’s level for the remainder of the year, with fingers crossed, that we’ll return to 50 inches of rain in 2008, not the sub par 30 inches that fell across the American Southwest in 2007. (see AP article on drought in the southeast)

Interestingly, the winter and spring releases from Woodruff Dam have at least touched up near normal.

It’s been the past two summers (2006 and 2007) — the traditional minimum flow season — where flows into the Apalachicola have dropped off to a trickle of its normal self. The long-term summer average is around a 8,000-10,000 cfs flow rate. That’s just an average though. I’d have to look at it in more detail.

In any regard, here’s more articles on the Apalachicola/Lanier water balance, in case you missed them.

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