WEST TRENTON, N.J. (June 29) – With the summer season officially upon us, the hotter and drier weather reminds us of the benefits that our valuable water resources bring into our lives. The water resources in the Delaware River Basin sustain us year-round; however, summer activities tend to bring many of us closer to the water for fishing, boating, and other wonderful recreational opportunities. Whether you are enjoying time on or near the water or simply using water at your home or business, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) would like to remind everyone to use water efficiently.
“Our basin’s water resources are supported through a magnificent blend of nature and engineering,” said DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini. “While we often take our water supplies for granted, we are dependent on this vital resource for drinking water, recreation, power generation, aquatic habitats, commerce, industry, and so much more.”
“We all need to do our part, not only now during the hot, summer months, but throughout the year,” Tambini added. “It is always good practice to think ahead, to consider the limits of our water resources, and to practice efficient water use,” he continued.
On March 24, 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) declared a drought watch for 27 counties, including eight in the Delaware Basin, due to low precipitation as well as streamflow and groundwater indicators. The eight basin counties include Berks, Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, and Wayne. This drought watch was expanded by PADEP on June 17, 2015 to include 10 additional Pa. counties, two of which are in the basin: Lehigh and Northampton. Ten basin counties are now under PADEP’s drought watch.
Even with the recent rain, year-to-date precipitation totals in the Delaware Basin upstream of Trenton, N.J. are still more than 10 percent below normal. Weather patterns of the past two years indicate that drier conditions could reappear later in the summer. Above-normal precipitation was recorded in June 2013 and June 2014, only to be followed both years by very low rainfall totals in September (between 30-to 60-percent of normal amounts).
As a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense partner, DRBC is committed to spreading the word about the need for water use efficiency. Additional information, such as indoor and outdoor water savings tips as well as links to many water efficiency on-line resources, can be found on the commission’s web site at www.nj.gov/drbc/programs/supply/policies.
The DRBC is a federal/interstate government agency responsible for managing the water resources within the 13,539 square-mile Delaware River Basin without regard to political boundaries. The five commission members are the governors of the basin states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ North Atlantic Division, who represents the federal government.