Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Final Changes To Low Flow Management Practices Adopted By Susquehanna River Basin Commission

On March 18, The Susquehanna River Basin Commission has adopted Resolution No. 2020-02  that enhances its low flow management practices and modifies how it collects and applies its water use fee. 
The Policy also offers implementing guidance for water users in the basin seeking to provide water storage. 
The policy is effective on April 1, 2020.
Management of low flows is one of the Commission’s primary and unique roles.  The traditional approach to this objective has been to provide for water releases from large federal reservoirs to offset downstream water consumption during low flow periods.  
Through the policy update, the Commission seeks to add new options to the successes of the traditional approach and to enable water users to take credit for mitigation measures that are available to them.  
The overarching goals are to improve low flow management, provide reliable water supply during droughts, expand affordable mitigation options to water users, and promote effective investment of the Commission’s Water Management Fund.
Prior to adoption of the updated policy, Commission staff held informational sessions with key water use stakeholders and other interested parties to preview the changes being considered and to solicit feedback. 
Following adoption, new options now being offered to water users for meeting existing mitigation requirements include:
-- Lowering the former 90-day storage standard to 45 days ;
-- Changing the definition of discontinuance from no water;
-- Usage to allowing usage up to 20,000 gallons per day; and
-- Receiving a fee credit for water saving practices. 
Resolution 2020-02 provides the Executive Director the authority necessary to carry out the implementation of the updated policy.  This includes immediately exempting pond evaporation losses from the mitigation requirement and reducing fees in exchange for certain water conservation practices.  
Activation of these money saving steps will require no action or cost on the part of water users.
The Executive Director has begun initiating such modifications. Water users that will benefit from the changes will be contacted by Commission staff within the next few weeks. Other outreach efforts will follow. 
For questions or additional information please call Gene Veno, Director of Government Affairs & Public Advocacy 717-238-0423 Ext. 1311 or send email to:
For more information on programs, training opportunities and upcoming events, visit the Susquehanna River Basin Commission website.  Click Here to sign up for SRBC’s newsletter.   Follow SRBC on Twitter, visit them on YouTube.
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[Posted: March 18, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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