Southeast drought

Drought in the Southeast: How 12 Reservoirs Have Shrunk Since the Last Year

California isn’t the only state with a severe drought problem. The Southeast is going through a very rough patch as well, with big parts of northern Alabama, northern Georgia, and western North Carolina in a state of exceptional drought, the most intense drought category.

As a matter of fact, the Southeast drought has intensified a decades-long fight between Georgia and Florida over water rights, ignited fires that forced people to flee their homes, while the northern half of Alabama is under a drought emergency.

The slides below show how the drought has affected 12 reservoirs in the Southeast. The “before” picture for each slide is from October or November of last year, while the “after” picture is from November 2016.

Imagery provided by the Landsat 8 satellite. Move the slider over each image to see the changes.

1. Weiss Lake, Alabama


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Weiss Lake is located northeastern Alabama and is owned and operated by the Alabama Power Company. At full pool, Weiss Lake sits 564 feet above sea level. Currently, it sits at 557 feet, 7 feet below full pool.

2. Lake Purdy, Alabama


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Lake Purdy is an important source of drinking water for the Birmingham area, but is now only 25% full.

3. Lake Juliette, Georgia


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Located 15 miles north of Macon and 75 miles south of Atlanta, Lake Juliette is also known as Rum Creek. It is a 3,600-acre reservoir co-managed by Georgia Power and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

4. Cedar Creek Reservoir, Alabama


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

The large Cedar Creek Reservoir is located in Franklin County, Alabama, along Cedar Creek. The 96-foot high dam was completed in 1979, and is used for flood control and irrigation.

5. Lake James, North Carolina


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Lake James is a large reservoir with a surface area of 10.2 square miles, located in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The lake served as a filming location in “The Hunt for Red October” and “The Last of the Mohicans”.

6. Lake Catoma, Alabama


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Lake Catoma in northern Alabama is a 536-acre reservoir that supplies water to the city of Cullman. The severe drought has prompted the Cullman Utilities Board to move into phase two of their drought management plan, which calls for mandatory water conservation.

7. Lake Jackson, Georgia


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Lake Jackson is one of the oldest reservoirs in Georgia, and is located 44 miles southeast of Atlanta. It has a surface area of 4,750 acres.

8. Cole Reservoir, Georgia


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Cole Reservoir (also called Upper Towaliga) is a 1,100-acre reservoir that started operation in 2000. To the West, Club Lake can also be seen dwindling.

9. Lake Lanier, Georgia


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Located in northern Georgia, Lake Lanier is a major source of water in the area. Besides Georgia, Alabama and Florida both have rights to the reservoir’s water. Covering an area of 59 square miles, Lake Lanier sits at 1,071 feet at full pool. Currently, it is 10 feet below normal level.

10. West Point Lake, Georgia, Alabama


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Straddling the border between Georgia and Alabama, West Point Lake covers an area of 25,900 acres. At 627 feet above sea level, the lake is currently 8 feet below full pool.

11. Smith Lake, Alabama


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Smith Lake, created by the construction of the Lewis Smith Dam by Alabama Power, covers an area of 21,000 acres. Currently at 496 feet, the lake is 14 feet below full pool.

12. Lake Wylie, North Carolina, South Carolina


Use this code to embed the image on your website:

Lake Wylie straddles the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, and has a surface area of 13,400 acres. The current drought conditions have led to boat ramp closings on the lake.

The following two tabs change content below.

Catalin

Catalin Trif is a lake enthusiast, blogger, and tech enthusiast. He is also addicted to travel and his guitar.

Leave a Comment