I found the following information from this link:
How was the water control plan developed? When were the last changes made? back to topThis plan has a lengthy history. In 1942, the Basis of Design for Definite Project Report was developed, which included the original studies for the method of operation for Bull Shoals and Norfork. This report helped establish the size of the flood and conservation pools in each lake. In 1952, the Plan of Flood Regulation for Bull Shoals and Norfork Reservoirs was developed. This reports described the proposed plan of regulation for Bull Shoals and Norfork. In 1954, the Master Manual for Reservoir Regulation of the White River Basin was first developed. This described the operating criteria for Bull Shoals, Norfork, and Greers Ferry. In 1963, the Reservoir Regulation Manual for Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals, and Norfork Reservoirs was developed. This was revised in 1966. In 1993, the Master Manual for Reservoir Regulation for White River Basin was developed. No changes to the Water Control Plan were made, only basin conditions were updated. The economic analysis showed that changing the allocation of storage for purposes other than flood control, hydropower, or water supply was not economically justified. In 1998, after years of additional study, a revision to the water control plan was made that lowered the regulating stages on the White River.
Why not lower lake levels in the winter to prepare for spring rains? back to topWhile lowering lake levels in the winter to prepare for spring rains does in effect increase the size of the flood pool, at the same time it takes away from hydropower and water supply storage. The Corps does not have legal authority to do this. The current allocation of storage for flood damage reduction was approved by Congress. Changing that allocation would require Congressional action.Also, that is a very risky suggestion because there is no way to forecast long-range how much or how little rain will fall. If the Corps artificially lowered lake levels in the winter and spring rains did not come, a shortage of water to generate electricity, meet the needs of water utilities or provide viable recreation opportunities could ensue. The water supply and power users pay for that storage. If the drought progressed, instead of recovering, lake levels could continue to drop and cause an extreme water shortage.
How can the Operating Plan be changed to improve conditions for me? back to topProposed changes to the operating plan would require authorization and funding by Congress to study the impacts. All user groups would have input on changes they desire, even though each change to benefit one group would have a negative impact on another group or groups. These impacts would need to be communicated to all stakeholders in the basin and a new plan developed and coordinated before it could be implemented. In the end, substantial changes in operations are unlikely because of the substantial impacts they would cause, and there is no way to predict the outcome of less significant changes (who wins, who loses).