Delaware River Basin Commission

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1 Delaware River Basin Commission Interstate Council on Water Policy Annual Conference Drought Management in the Delaware River Basin Amy Shallcross, PE Water Resources Management September 30, 2015

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3 A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure -US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Delaware River Main stem river is 330 miles long More than 15 million people (about 5% of the U.S. population) rely on the waters of the Delaware River Basin (0.4% land area of US) Drains 13,539 square miles of watershed. Water withdrawals in the Basin = 8.7 billion gallons a day Delaware River forms an interstate boundary over its entire length and is the longest undammed U.S. river east of the Mississippi (dams are located on tributaries, not the main stem Delaware) Contributes over $21B in economic value to the Region.

4 Commission Established by Compact in 1961 to address: Water supply shortages venue for cooperation to reduce controversy; Serious flooding; Severe pollution in the Delaware River and its major tributaries; Limitation: Imposed conditions, obligations and release requirements do not impair, diminish or adversely affect the provisions of the 1954 Supreme Court Decree unless there is unanimous consent of the parties

5 Basin Droughts End Enter Declare End Enter Drought Drought Enter Drought Drought Drought Warning Watch (2) Watch/ Drought (3) (1) Emergency Emergency Warning 1960s 7/7/65 (4) 3/2/ s 1990s 10/17/80 12/1/80 1/15/81 1/15/81 4/27/82 11/13/82 12/8/82 3/27/83 11/09/ /20/83 1/23/85 2/7/85 5/13/85 5/13/85 12/18/85 1/16/89 2/5/ /13/91 11/7/91 4/25/92 9/21/ /6/93 9/15/95 10/13/95 11/12/95 10/27/ /13/98 3/21/89 Conditional (5) 5/12/89 12/14/98 (6) 12/23/ /18/99 (8) 9/30/ s 10/29/01 11/4/01 12/1/01 12/18/01 11/25/02 (9)

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7 Commission s Roles in Drought Management Comprehensive Plan/Project Review Water Conservation Water Audits SE PA groundwater Protected Area Low Flow Augmentation

8 DRB Total Withdrawals 8,279 Million Gallons / Day Hydroelectric 394 All Other 10 NYC 494 NJ (D&R Canal) 90 Agriculture 61 Self-supplied Domestic 114 Industrial 680 Mining 57 Non-agricultural Irrigation 2 Public Water Supply 863 Thermoelectric 5,514

9 Million Gallons per Day 300 Consumptive Use Trends Bold lines indicate 12 month moving average of consumptive use Combined Thermoelectric 50 Public Water Industrial Water 0

10 River Analysis: 2003 & 2030

11 Ground Water Sufficiency Analysis: 2003 & 2030

12 Comprehensive Plan/Project Review Compact requires review of any project having a substantial effect on water resources of the basin. DRBC withdrawal dockets (permits) are issued to ensure projects do not impair or conflict with the CP Water Conservation Requirements Drought Management and Contingency Plans Consumptive Use Make-Up (Thermoelectric) Groundwater Protected Area

13 Water Conservation Regulations 1983: Depletive Use reduction of 15 % during drought conditions 1986: Source & Service Metering 1987: Leak Detection & Repair 1988: Conservation Plumbing Standards 1992: Water Conservation Pricing 2009: Water Audit Rule

14 Million Gallons / Day Millions Aggregated Withdrawals of 40 Public Water Supply Systems in the DRB (Million Gallons/Day) 1,100 1,000 Withdrawals DRB Population

15 Drought Management and Forces Industrial and Commercial facility owners to contemplate the implications of water use restrictions Describes recycling and conservation measures currently in place or planned (temporary or permanent); Provides information on types of products produced; normal employment levels; Contingency Plans estimated reduction in employment from curtailment of water usage for the following levels of curtailment: 10, 25, 35, 50 and 100% Estimates economic impact that may result from curtailment of water usage for the following levels of curtailment: 10, 25, 35, 50 and 100 percent.

16 Consumptive Use Replacement 1960s Commission Study found that Power Utilities were the largest water users and largest water use sector Commission includes requirements for replacement of consumptive use in dockets Resulted in construction of Merrill Creek Reservoir by power companies Other sources also used

17 SE PA Groundwater Protection Delaware Protect groundwater resources by effectively managing water withdrawals to: Prevent the long-term depletion of groundwater Protect stream flow during drought conditions Protect the rights of present and future users Acquire additional information to effectively manage water resources Encourage water conservation MD PA River Basin NJ NY Delaware Bay DE Atlantic Ocean

18 SE PA GWPA Requirements Withdrawal limits are considered the target amount to ensure adequate streamflow in perennial streams and minimize the overdraft of groundwater resources during times of drought Two-tiered approach for withdrawal limits: Maximum Withdrawal Limits for sub-basins (1 yr in 25 year) Potentially Stressed Level (75% of sub-basin withdrawal limits) Withdrawals in potentially stressed basins must: Obtain 15% of use from surface water supply Water Conservation Program (5% reduction) Program to control I&I in sanitary sewers Artificial recharge (60%) or spray irrigation Alternative Program suggested by sponsor

19 Low Flow Augmentation Two flow objectives in the basin: Montague and Trenton Decree established Montague to ensure the lower basin states receive an equitable apportionment of water Commission/Good Faith Agreement Established Trenton Trenton ensures freshwater flows into the estuary for: Protection of drinking water and industrial intakes Limitation of chloride intrusion into the PRM aquifer Protection of wildlife (fish, oysters)

20 Drought Management Plan Good Faith Agreement included: Conservation releases for fisheries Drought status (watch, warning, emergency) based on Combined Storage in NYC reservoirs During drought conditions: Reduced conservation releases Reduced flow objectives Reduced out-of-basin diversions Lower Basin Drought Operating Plan included: Drought status based on storage in two lower basin reservoirs (DRBC owned storage in multi-purpose USACE reservoirs) Use of other private, state and federal reservoirs during drought emergencies

21 Sources of Water ERQ (bank est. by Decree) DRBC Storage in USACE Reservoirs Emergency Consumptive Use Make Up

22 Water Management Schematic for the Delaware River Basin Jadwin F.E. Walter 35 BG Out-of-Basin Diversion Primarily Water Supply Reservoirs Multi-Purpose (Flood/Power/WS/Recreation) Reservoirs Primarily Flood Control Reservoir Flow Management Objective Release or Spill Blue Marsh Prompton 8 BG Outflow 7 BG or Spill Beltzville 22 BG Total 13 BG for Water Supply 16 BG Total 6.5 BG for Water Supply Release or Spill Release or Spill USACE Owned and Operated Reservoirs Outflow or Spill Note: Not all reservoirs, tributaries, and diversions are shown. LACKAWAXEN RIVER 30 BG Wallenpaupack Emergency LEHIGH RIVER Release or Spill Montague 12 BG Nockamixon Emergency SCHUYLKILL RIVER Release or Spill Trenton Cannonsville 15 BG Release or Spill 96 BG Pepacton 140 BG Mongaup Emergency Neversink 35 BG Inflow Diversion Inflow Diversion DELAWARE AND RARITAN CANAL Inflow Diversion DELAWARE RIVER ESTUARY and Salt Line To NYC Water Supply Up to 800 MGD Non Drought Target = 1750 cfs (1130 MGD) 16 BG Merrill Creek Consumptive Use Replacement To New Jersey Water Supply Up t0 100 MGD Non Drought Target = 3000 cfs (1940 MGD)

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24 Results Conservation has resulted in reductions in municipal water use even with population growth Better control over withdrawals in the SE PA GWPA have improved conditions Simulations of the drought management plan indicate that the flow objective at Trenton will keep salinity at bay.

25 Next Steps Continue to investigate local areas where stresses have been identified Expand current studies to address water availability with climate change and sea level rise

26 Amy Shallcross Thank you!

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