Top Stories

Pepacton Reservoir, pictured here, is 51.2 % full. The other Delaware River reservoirs in the New York City water supply system are Cannonsville — at 21.8% of capacity, and Neversink — at 57.9 %. Visit this link for daily  updates. Photo by Adam Bosch/NYCDEP

Here's news about the drought (yes, it's still continuing), plus information about eutrophication in the Delaware Bay, and a new atlas that reports river conditions from Hancock to Trenton.

Drought still continuing

Yes, we've had rain. YAY! But it's still not enough to lift the basin-wide drought warning status.

I'm going to call on the expertise of Clark Rupert, communications manager at the Delaware River Basin Commission, to explain the careful parameters of the drought call:

Under the operative plan, unless the commission with the unanimous consent of the decree parties provides otherwise, the current drought operations will terminate upon:

the date when combined storage in the three NYC-Delaware Basin reservoirs (including the projected water runoff equivalent of actual snow and ice within the watersheds tributary to the reservoirs) reaches a level 15 billion gallons above the drought watch line and remains above that level for five consecutive days


Delaware River Basin
drought watch status declared


It's official: the Delaware River basin has reached Drought Watch stage, the first of several alert levels to promote water conservation, protect reservoir capacity and fight back the salt line creeping upstream and threatening Philadelphia's water supply.

This graphic tells the story:


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Drip drop: Our crumbling water infrastructure

Harvard Political Review | Nov. 27, 2016


Oh, my god… this is horrible.” Those aren’t the words of a baritone announcer for a dystopian movie trailer, but the words of David Coppes, Director of Water Works at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, when he responded to the alarming 2010 Boston water emergency. The emergency, which MWRA’s executive director ...


Tell Congress: Pass the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act | Nov. 26, 2016


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Climate change could
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The New York Times | Nov. 24, 2016


Real estate agents looking to sell coastal properties usually focus on one thing: how close the home is to the water’s edge. But buyers are increasingly asking instead how far back it is from the waterline. How many feet above sea level? Is it fortified against storm surges? Does it have emergency power and sump pumps? Rising sea levels ...


Port of Philadelphia needs
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Philadelphia Business Journal | Nov. 18, 2016


Greater Philadelphia's ports are poised to cash in big on recent growth and infrastructure improvements — if skilled workers are ready to take on the jobs. A new state grant is aimed at increasing the amount of trained port workers by offering more than $385,000 to four area community colleges and Drexel University to implement ...


Gov. Wolf pledges $300M to revitalize the Philly port | Nov. 22, 2016


Gov. Wolf announced Tuesday a $300 million capital investment to existing terminals and operations at the Philadelphia port aimed at doubling container cargo capacity and creating about 2,000 more direct port jobs. The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, a state agency, approved the plan to add $200 million in improvements ...


Editorial: Port expansion faces short-term hurdles

Delawareonline | Nov. 22, 2016


State, county and Wilmington officials have been pondering the expansion of the city’s port for decades. “Scope of harbor plan explained to city council,” read a headline in the Wilmington Morning News on Jan. 20, 1920. Three years later, the Port of Wilmington opened...


Wilmington port expansion leaps forward with land buy

Delawareonline | Nov. 18, 2016


The Port of Wilmington took a major leap forward in its decade-long effort to expand the state's shipping economy Friday, announcing an agreement to purchase Chemour's shuttered Edge Moor chemical plant for $10 million. In the coming month, the Diamond State Port Corporation, a quasi-public board that operates the current port ...


Bass prep for lower temps
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Delaware Public Media | Nov. 16, 2016


With winter approaching, the type of bass seen around the First State is changing. DNREC Fisheries Administrator John Clark says this time of year colder weather starts to have an impact on how one popular bass species behaves. “When people talk about the bass fishing ending for the year, they’re referring to largemouth bass ...


Proposed $399M plant will need water, gas, power lines

The Mercury News | Nov. 16, 2016


An application for water use by the proposed $399 million Birdsboro Power plant at the former Armorcast property has revealed that it will require a 2-mile water line, a 4-mile overhead power transmission line and a 14-mile natural gas line to operate. The application was made to the Delaware River Basin Commission ...


NJ rate counsel questions need for PennEast pipeline

NJTVNews | Nov. 17, 2016


Another setback for billion dollar, 118-mile PennEast natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. “We are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take a closer look at whether the pipeline is needed at all. We’re also asking them to take a closer look at the request by the company to earn ...


State senators file motion
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The Citizen's Voice | Nov. 7, 2016


Three senators are intervening in a lawsuit to end a gas-drilling moratorium in the Delaware River Basin on grounds it usurps a state Marcellus Shale drilling law. The senators filed a legal motion recently in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania making their case ...


Why scientists are so worried about sea-level rise

Washington Post | Nov. 7, 2016


Even as negotiators meet in Marrakech, Morocco to take the next steps to avert dangerous human-caused climate change — and, even as the U.S. decides whether or not to elect a president who is skeptical it is happening — a new study has highlighted the sharp stakes involved, particularly when it comes to the ongoing rise ...


Water infrastructure is critical for NJ's growth

NJBIZ.COM | Nov. 7, 2016


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Drought warning: Lehigh Valley to reduce water use

Lehigh Valley Live| Nov. 3, 2016


Lehigh and Northampton are among four counties under a drought warning declared Thursday by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Residents of these Lehigh Valley counties, along with Monroe and Carbon counties, are asked to voluntarily reduce their water use by 10 to 15 percent ...


Heller leads bipartisan push for priorities in WRDA | Nov. 11, 2016


United States Senator Dean Heller led a bipartisan coalition of over 50 members spanning both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in writing a letter to the leaders of the committees negotiating the final Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) ...


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