In this 2014 file photo, the view from the Park Marina of Allatoona Lake. Many of Georgia's lakes are dealing with the ongoing drought.
Photo: BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Allatoona Lake water levels low as drought continues

Georgia hasn't seen significant rainfall in more than a month, which has prompted state officials to impose mandatory water restrictions and declare a Level 2 drought in 52 counties.

The drought has caused concerns about how it could affect Georgia's lakes, including Allatoona Lake located in Cobb, Bartow and Cherokee County.

On Wednesday afternoon, Allatoona Lake's water level was at 832.70 feet MSL, which sits 7.30 feet below the full pool level of 840 feet MSL. On Nov. 23 last year, the water level sat at 836.22 MSL and 829.88 in 2014.

Below are Allatoona Lake's levels for Nov. 23 over the past six years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' data can be found here.

This chart show the Allatoona Lake water levels for Nov. 18 since 2011. Water levels are measured by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Photo: http://allatoona.uslakes.info/Level.asp

While the data shows the lake elevation is down, Glenn Page, the general manager for Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, said that the lake is in pretty good shape for this time of year looking at the rule curve used by the corps.

The “rule curve” determines the limits for the lakes’ water levels and Page said projections show levels will be above Allatoona's rule curve.

“We are paying particular attention to it; as Cobb’s water provider we can draw from Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier,” he said.

A comparison of Allatoona Lake's rule curve and elevation levels since 2007 for Oct. 15. 
Photo: Glenn Page, Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority

Photos: Lake Lanier water levels, highs and lows

If the drought does continue, Page doesn’t expect Allatoona to be affected like Lake Lanier.

“Lanier is about 3-4 times the size, but the drainage basin is about the same. If we get an inch of rain, Lanier comes up 3 inches, Allatoona comes up about a foot,” he said.

Wednesday's latest readings for Lake Lanier water levels showed the lake at a water level of 1,060.95 feet below mean sea level at 4:15 p.m. Lake Lanier is 10.05 feet below its full pool level of 1,071 feet MSL.

On Nov. 23, 2015, the water level sat at 1,071.26 MSL and 1,067.33 the year prior in 2014. Here are Lake Lanier's levels for Nov. 23 over the past six years, based on corps data here.

Charts show the Lake Lanier water levels. Water levels are measured by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Photo: http://www.discoverlanier.com/Level.asp

Compared to the rule curve for Allatoona, Lanier's elevation level recently dipped below the rule curve.

“I am very concerned that we are going into a multi-year drought. But from a resource perspective, I am most concerned about Lake Lanier.”

A comparison of Lake Lanier's rule curve and elevation levels since 2007 for Oct. 15. 
Photo: Glenn Page, Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority

Drought resources:

Georgia imposes water restrictions as drought worsens

MAP: Georgia's drought and where water restrictions apply

What is a drought and how is drought measured?

Channel 2's Ross Cavitt spoke to water experts who believe relief is far away.

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