Agreement of the Parties to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Decree
Temporary Thermal Releases Program for Habitat Protection, July 2016
The parties to the 1954 Supreme Court Delaware River Degree have unanimously agreed to implement a temporary program Temporary Thermal Releases Program of release augmentation on July 21, 2016 in response to the stress conditions that high water temperatures may cause to the cold-water fishery. These augmented releases will be made from Cannonsville Reservoir to partially mitigate the negative effects that may be caused by high water temperatures on the aquatic habitat of the main stem of the upper Delaware River. The flow augmentation will consist of a release an additional 250 cubic feet per second from Cannonsville Reservoir starting at 4:00 PM EDT July 23 and continue the additional release through 4:00 PM EDT July 25, 2016. The augmentation will begin ramping down at 4:00 PM EDT on July 25, 2016, according to established operational procedures, down to the release rate prescribed under the currently applicable FFMP-OST release table.
New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the City of New York today announced that they have unanimously approved a one-year extension of the current Flexible Flow Management Program (FFMP) intended to meet water supply demands, protect fisheries habitat downstream of the New York City (NYC) Delaware Basin reservoirs, enhance flood mitigation, and repel the upstream movement of salt water in the Delaware Estuary. An FFMP summary and "press release" is available. The full 2016 FFMP document is also available.
The Office of the Delaware River Master was established to ensure compliance with the provisions of the 1954 Supreme Court Decree, subject to modifications stemming from more recent Flexible Flow Management Programs, and compilation of data concerning related streamflow, reservoir releases, and water diversions.
Provisional Hydrologic Data:
Data presented on the Office of the Delaware River Master website are reviewed periodically to ensure accuracy. The data are considered provisional, however, until they are published in the annual report of the River Master.
Data users are advised to carefully consider the provisional nature of the information before using it for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences.
Information on the accuracy and appropriate uses of the data can be obtained by contacting the Deputy Delaware River Master.
- Current Reservoir and Streamflow Data: Table (PDF)
- Previous Reservoir and Streamflow Data: Archive
- Storage for New York City Reservoirs: Graph (PDF)
- Monthly Hydrologic Conditions for the Upper Delaware River Basin Summaries: Archive (PDF)
- Consumption of Water by New York City and Outside Communities, 1940 - 2014
- OST Summary Data
As part of the FFMP agreement, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) monitored the releases program to evaluate its effectiveness in protecting the coldwater ecosystem below the reservoirs. This report, NYSDEC Tailwaters Temperature Monitoring Report for June 2011 through May 2015, prepared by the DEC, summarizes the summer water temperatures observed under the oneyear FFMP agreement extensions in effect between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2015. Thermal data were obtained from eight permanent USGS gages and 21 Onset Optic “Stow Away” thermographs installed and maintained by DEC staff on the upper East Branch, West Branch, Delaware River, and Neversink River. The report concludes that:
- Overall, the FFMP releases program was effective in maintaining flow and temperature targets in the Upper East Branch, West Branch, and Neversink River tailwater reaches. No thermal stress days were recorded for the Upper East Branch or the West Branch and only 7 in 2012 in the Neversink River. FFMP summer base flows to the West Branch were inadequate in maintaining desirable summer water temperatures in the upper Delaware River but this was also true of all earlier releases programs. Directed releases to meet the Supreme Court mandated Montague flow target continue to exert the greatest influence on summertime temperature and flow conditions on the West Branch and upper Delaware River. Thermal stress days on the Delaware River for the summers of 2011 through 2014 ranged from 0 to 13 at Lordville (RM 321) and 5 to 67 at Callicoon (RM 303).