Not forgotten, but set aside as a national concern. And many still do not know how the water gets to their faucet (for real, not a generic idea), and selling water rights goes on. We will be ‘surprised’ and ‘no one saw it coming’ comments will fill our ears.
Loss of water comes in many forms.
We never thought we’d see it. We never thought the lake would go this far down,” said Jane Davis, who built the marina from the ground up with her husband. “Everyone needs water, but Hartwell has finally given more water than it can take.”
Forecasters say there’s no telling when it will end.
“When you start looking at an area like that that’s been under duress so long, even one or two rain events aren’t going to completely wipe away the long-term problems,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Hartwell has for decades been a source of water, recreation and electricity for scores of towns and thousands of residents on both sides of its ever-growing banks.
Now moldy boat shells, aging beer cans and even long-lost highways once deep underwater bake in the sun. Jagged islands once topped with buoys to ward off unsuspecting boats now sit uncomfortably 8 feet above water.
Some residents blame the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which sends millions of gallons of water from the lake each week downstream to the Savannah River to help supply Savannah, Augusta and other cities.
They also worry that the Corps and another federal agency, the Southeastern Power Administration, focus too much on generating electricity and too little on keeping the lake full.