Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Chattahoochee River runs from the Chattahoochee Spring in the mountains of northeast Georgia, southwestward by Atlanta and through its suburbs, then turns southward to form the southern half of the Georgia/Alabama state line. It then merges with the Flint River at Lake Seminole to form the Florida panhandle's short Apalachicola River, and is the largest part of the ACF River Basin watershed. The name Chattahoochee is thought to come from a Creek word for "painted rock," possibly referring to the many colorful granite outcrops along the northeast-to-southwest segment of the river. Much of this segment of the river runs through the Brevard fault.
Several lakes, including Lake Lanier , Lake Walter F. George West Point Lake , and others are controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, providing hydroelectricity, flood control, drinking water, recreation, and navigation. Several smaller and older lakes and dams also provide these services on a much smaller and more localized scale, including Bull Sluice Lake and Morgan Falls Dam.
- Carroll and Coweta
- Carroll and Fulton
- Douglas and Fulton
- Cobb and Fulton
- Fulton and Gwinnett
- Forsyth and Gwinnett
Controversy has come to the river because of the enormous growth of metro Atlanta, and the tremendous increase in water withdrawls from the river. Oysters in Apalachicola Bay depend on the brackish water mix and alternating freshwater and saltwater flows the river and tides provide. Interbasin water transfers also occur, where water is withdrawn from the Chattahoochee, but then discharged as treated sewage into another river, such as Gwinnett County's Oconee River. The US Congress has been asked to intervene to put navigation of the lower Chattahoochee (south of Columbus, Georgia) by barges last on the priority list, as most people view this as a complete waste of water during droughts, and a tremendous aggravation to the fight between Georgia, Florida, and Alabama over rights to the river. The case is now in court, and may take years to resolve.
The most recent major flood along the river occurred in September 2004, as a result of Hurricane Ivan.  At Vinings at the northwestern Atlanta city limit, it rose to 22.60 feet or 6.89 meters late on September 16, far above its flood stage of 14.0 feet or 4.3 meters. Numerous tributaries also swelled far over and beyond their banks. These were the highest levels seen since 1990, and the second-highest ever since Buford Dam was built upstream. The National Weather Service in Peachtree City estimated that this was a nearly 100-year flood event.  At Helen above the dam, the river rose to 6.8 feet or 2.07 meters, just above the flood stage of 6.0 feet or 1.83 meters.
- Lake Lanier and Buford Dam (Hall and Forsyth)
- Big Creek (Forsyth and north Fulton)
- Bull Sluice Lake and Morgan Falls Dam
- Willeo Creek (Cobb/Fulton border)
- Sope Creek (Cobb)
- Nancy Creek (Fulton)
- Peachtree Creek (Fulton)
- Rottenwood Creek (Cobb)
- Sweetwater Creek (Cobb into Douglas)
- Lake West Point
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