Water dispute among friends

There’s nothing better than a good map …

Except for maybe a good hydrograph.

A map of the the river system

Even better is combining the two together.

Above is the map of the basin that feeds freshwater to Apalachicola Bay. As you can see, it’s three major rivers and reaches all the way up to Atlanta. More than a dot on the map, what’s known as the Metropolitan Area sprawls across a large area, and yes, it depends on drinking water stored behind Buford Dam in Lake Lanier.

Variation in Georgia’s Lake Lanier Stage over the years

A run of drought in the 2000s (shown above) severally stressed the water situation in the basin among stakeholders, with Atlanta’s water supply and minimum flows (5,000 cfs) to Florida’s Apalachicola Bay staking out hydrologic and legal ground on their fair shake of the water.

More recently (below) drought has eased.

Hydrograph comparing stage in Lake Lanier, discharge from Woodruff Dam (Lake Seminole) and annual “dam-released” discharge to Apalachicola Bay

Usually you think of “Water Wars” between states as something that only happens Out West, but right here in Florida we have a long-running and still-simmering “Tri-State Water Dispute.” I won’t call it a war because we’re also friends.

I also have a theory that good hydrographs promote peace.

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