Meet Lake Hartwell, the Drought’s Newest Poster Child

Lake Hartwell, one of the bigger lakes that make up the border between Georgia and South Carolina, is now at its lowest elevation ever. The current lake level is 639.58 which shattered the previous record low of 642.4 feet set during the drought of 1981. 

I saw something odd that surfaced in middle of the lake near Clemson a few weeks ago. It is the original bridge crossing for the Seneca river. It has not been seen since the lake was filled in the mid 1950s.

(Photo Credit:Anderson Independent Newspaper, photo by Nathan Gray)

By some media accounts there is only 300 days of storage of water left before the main water authority (which supplies my water, yikes) runs out of water based on their intake elevation. This could be a more personal watercrunch blog in the coming year. I hope not.


  1. Great post on Lake Hartwell. It’s amazing to see how many lakes nationwide are suffering similar fates. One of the latest is Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet, California. The town of Hemet recently held a Water – Use It Wisely event to promote water conservation in the area. Check out the pictures from the event –

  2. this comment: ?It has not been seen since the lake was filled in the mid 1950s." is not accurate. I grew up only a short walk away from this and clearly remember the building of the dykes & flooding of the lake around 1961. If it had happened in the late 50's, I would not be able to remember it as I would have been a tiny baby!!My sister who graduated Daniel high school (Central, SC) in 1962 knows that it was completed and the bridge submerged shortly before her graduation.Susan Campbell Payne

  3. My Bad. Thanks for the comment and keeping me honest. -Robert

  4. went camping this weekend at Lake Hartwell its nice to see it back to a full capacity.

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