“The goal is to preserve as much water as possible in an effort to help attempt to fill the lakes,” APC spokeswoman Alyson Fuqua said.
She said lake residents need to be patient because it will take time to fill APC reservoirs.
Fuqua warned late last month that it was unlikely Logan Martin Lake levels would reach the normal summer pool levels on time.
Alabama Power officials said extremely dry conditions have impacted both the Tallapoosa River and Coosa River basins.
Fuqua said recent rains were not enough to fill APC reservoirs.
“We need three or four days of steady rain,” she said.
APC officials said many streams feeding APC lakes reached record lows this spring.
“Alabama Power is always working a delicate balance, trying to keep the lakes at reasonable level,” Fuqua said. “While everyone is concerned with the impacts to ‘their’ lake, Alabama Power must look at operating the reservoirs on the Coosa and Tallapoosa as a system, as well as fulfilling all federal and state requirements for each individual river system. Our hydro engineers have already been taking actions to help soften the impact should dry conditions continue throughout the summer.”
On Monday, fishery flows at Jordan Dam were halted.
In accordance with its permit requirements, APC was releasing 8,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) of water daily for fisheries from Jordan Dam before fishery flows halted Monday. Jordan Dam is downstream of Logan Martin Lake in the Coosa River basin, before the Tallapoosa and Coosa meet to form the Alabama River.
Fuqua said APC is also gradually decreasing the daily operational flow at Jordan Dam from 5,000 to 4,000 cfs to help conserve water.
She said recreational flows may also be impacted if there is no significant rainfall in the near future.
In accordance with its hydrogenation power permit, APC normally releases recreational flows at Jordan Dam.
“Recreational releases are cancelled when Weiss, Henry and Logan Martin lake levels are one foot below their rule curve or based on water availability as defined in the Jordan license,” Fuqua said.
Logan Martin Lake is more than two feet below the normal summer pool level of 465 feet above sea level. As of late Tuesday afternoon, the Logan Martin Lake level was at 462.92 feet.
“Although Alabama Power has been proactive in dealing with the limited flow made available to us in April and May, the situation has progressed and there is not enough water to meet all the competing needs and requirements,” Fuqua said. “We will continue to evaluate the changing drought conditions and keep the public informed of our efforts to try and mitigate the impacts.”
Alabama Power Company asked for and received a variance in November 2011 from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to hold Lake Martin in the Tallapoosa River basin three feet above the winter pool elevation so APC could get a head start filling that lake.
Lake Martin is currently only about a half-foot below its normal summer pool level.
Fuqua said unlike Lake Martin, any variance request for Logan Martin Lake must go through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before the FERC, if the proposed change can affect flood control.
She said Logan Martin Lake is much smaller than Lake Martin, so Corps officials believe the lake could be filled quicker than Lake Martin and there was no need to hold back water.
In addition, Fuqua said there was plenty of rain in December and January.
She said nobody expected the rainfall shortages in February, March and April.
Contact David Atchison at email@example.com.