N.Y., Pennsylvania renew water use agreement

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania has signed a one-year renewal of an agreement governing the management of water in the Delaware River.

The renewal of the flexible flow management program, which was also signed by fellow parties Delaware, New Jersey, New York and New York City, is effective today, June 1.

Pennsylvania is a party to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decree that established an equitable allocation of water use under federal common law.

Flow issues

“This agreement will ensure that the continual and steady flow of water in the Delaware River protects Philadelphia’s water supply from salt water, which can flow in from the Atlantic Ocean,” said Pa. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Krancer.

“This extension will allow all of the partners to work together this year to find longer-term solutions to the flow issues on the Delaware River.”

Occasional N.Y. release

The agreement allows for the occasional release of large volumes of cold water from reservoirs in New York to improve fishery habitats and ecology downstream as well as provide a balance in water supply throughout the states during drought conditions.

The reservoirs provide drinking water for millions of residents in the four states.

The agreement also calls on New York to store less water in some of the reservoirs during most of the year, creating greater storage capacity during storm events to help reduce flooding downstream.

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