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Released: 9/15/1995

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Rebecca Phipps 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4460

As the U.S. Geological Survey continues to monitor declining streamflows throughout the Northeastern U.S., the Delaware River Basin Commission has issued a drought warning today (Fri., Sept. 15), in the Delaware River basin, limiting reservoir withdrawals and calling for the use of voluntary water conservation measures.

In the Delaware River basin, total storage today in the Pepacton, Cannonsville and Neversink reservoirs, which provide half of New York City’s water supply, is about 119.2 billion gallons, 4.6 billion gallons below the drought warning level. The long-term average storage for Sept. 15 is 193 billion gallons.

According to a 1954 Supreme Court decree, the Delaware River Master is empowered to limit diversions of water from the Delaware River basin, with stricter controls in time of drought.

The Delaware River Basin Commission manages the water resources in the 13,539 square-mile basin. The Delaware and its tributary rivers and streams drain portions of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York.

Elsewhere in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, streamflows continue to decline as well:

At Harrisburg, Pa., flow of the Susquehanna River today is about 1.8 billion gallons per day (bgd), 75 percent below the average September flow of 7.4 bgd.

At Hadley, N.Y., flow of the Hudson River today is about 375 million gallons per day (mgd), 58 percent below the average September flow of 892 mgd.

Near Washington, D.C., flow of the Potomac River today is about 628 mgd, 67 percent below the September average flow of 1.9 billion gallons per day.

(Note to Editors: For additional information on the drought, reporters may call Ward Freeman in Albany N.Y., at 518-285-5600; Bob James in Towson, Md., at 410-512-4800 or Christopher Roberts at the Delaware River Basin Commission at 609-883-9500 ext. 205.)

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