Water Shortages in Area Rivers Could Develop

Georgia claims the federal government is draining too much water from major reservoirs along the Chattahoochee River to protect endangered species in Florida, and it fears the use will cause water shortages this year.

Those concerns were expressed in documents obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Because of drought conditions, the Army Corps of Engineers in Georgia has been releasing more water than normal from four lakes in Georgia to maintain stream levels for endangered mussels and the Gulf sturgeon.

Georgia's Chattahoochee River becomes the Apalachicola at the Florida state line. Because of a lack of rain in the region this spring, the Apalachicola River has been flowing about 45 percent lower than normal.

The federal Endangered Species act requires water levels in the river to be sufficient for the Gulf sturgeon's spawning season, from March through May. There also must be enough water to provide a proper year-round habitat for mussels.


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