Just above Augusta, river water is partially diverted into the Augusta Canal.
On a map, the basin roughly resembles an arrowhead.
It encompasses 10,577 square miles, of which 175 square miles are in southwestern North Carolina, 4,581 square miles are in western South Carolina, and 5,821 square miles are in eastern Georgia.
In Georgia, the basin drains portions of twenty-seven counties.
From Lake Hartwell, the Savannah River flows southeasterly for 313 miles across the Piedmont and the Upper Coastal Plain until it empties into the Atlantic Ocean approximately 15 miles downstream from the city of Savannah.
The site once sucked hundreds of millions of gallons each day from the Savannah to cool the reactors, which are no longer in operation.
The site still uses water from the river for other purposes.
In 1983 fossilized whale bones dating back 40 million years were discovered during plant construction.
Across the river from Plant Vogtle, in South Carolina, sits the U. Department of Energy's 310-square-mile Savannah River Site, whose five reactors churned out tons of radioactive plutonium and tritium for thermonuclear weapons from the 1950s through the 1980s.
It is also a source of drinking water for the cities of Beaufort and Hilton Head in South Carolina and for many smaller municipalities in the basin. The reservoirs regulate the river's flow and provide hydroelectric power, flood control, recreation, and drinking-water storage.