You can click here to see a chart of the water releases from Buford Dam.
The amount released differs every day. The Corps of Engineers which controls the dam needs to juggle several factors including:
Buford Dam produces hydo-electric power for surrounding counties. Tubes continuously pass water through the dam at a minimum rate of 600 cubic feet per second (CFS). This powers a small, 7.5 megawatt generator. During times of peak demand, water from Lake Lanier passing through Buford Dam can generate an additional 130 megawatts of power from 2 additional generators.
Buford Dam has done a remarkably good job of this with only two major flooding events on the downstream section since its construction. The most recent flooding event was in 2004, after the remnants of two major hurricanes (Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Ivan) dropped huge amounts of rainfall across the area.
Water stored in Lanier as well as in other downstream Corps lakes can be periodically released to increase river depths on the lower Chattahoochee River. This allows barges to navigate the river from the Gulf of Mexico to Columbus, Georgia.
With over 39,000 surface acres of water and 18,000 acres of surrounding public lands, Lanier provides beneficial habitat for many game and non-game animal species. This includes deer, ducks, fox, raccoon, bobcat and numerous songbirds.
Several surrounding counties and cities withdraw water daily from the lake. These include Gwinnett , Hall and Forsyth counties as well as the cities of Gainesville, Cumming, and Buford. In total they are allowed to withdraw a maximum of 100 million gallons a day from the lake.
Over 8 million people a year use the lake as their playground. Fifty-seven park areas are operated at Lake Lanier with facilities ranging from boat ramps and picnic areas to full service camp-grounds.
Buford Dam is possible because it harnesses the water of two rivers – the Chattahoochee and the Chestatee River, which both start in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
LAKE SIDNEY LANIER MARINAS
6800 LIGHTS FERRY RD FLOWERY BRANCH 30542 770-967-6811
BALD RIDGE MARINA
1850 BALD RIDGE MARINA RD CUMMING 30130 770-887-5309
2145 DAWSONVILLE HIGHWAY GAINESVILLE 30506 770-536-2171
2200 HABERSHAM MARINA RD CUMMING 30130 770-887-5432
6900 HOLIDAY RD BUFORD 30518 770-945-7201
LANIER HARBOR MARINA
2066 PINETREE DR BUFORD 30518 770-945-2884
LAN-MAR MARINA INC
9200 LAN-MAR RD GAINESVILLE 30506 770-887-5715
6700 HOLIDAY RD BUFORD 30518 770-945-1991
STARBOARD COVE MARINA
6334 MITCHELL ST FLOWERY BRANCH 30542 770-967-5500
5725 FLAT CREEK RD GAINESVILLE 30504 770-536-8599
Lake Lanier,Cumming Ga,Dawsonville Ga,Canton GA,Alpharetta GA,Buford GA,Johns Creek GA,Gainesville GA,Flowery Branch GA