Monday, July 16, 2012

SRBC Suspends 64 Water Withdrawals Due To Low Stream Flows

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Monday announced 64 separate water withdrawals approved by SRBC are suspended due to lower streamflow levels in the Susquehanna basin.  
The suspended withdrawals are operated by 33 companies in 13 Pennsylvania and 1 New York counties.  
Under SRBC’s passby flow restrictions, when streams drop to predetermined protected low flow levels, operators who are required to meet the agency’s passby requirement must stop taking water.  They cannot resume taking water until streams have recovered above the protected level.  Many projects must also wait for an additional 48 hours until they can resume operations.
SRBC pointed out that the public will continue to see water-related activities taking place for a number of reasons.  
First, where SRBC has determined that withdrawal quantities considered along with other upstream uses are insignificant compared to streamflows, approvals do not contain passby restrictions.  
Second, operators subject to SRBC’s passby conditions can continue to transport and use any amount of water that was withdrawn prior to passbys going into effect.  And third, water withdrawals less than 100,000 gallons per day AND not associated with natural gas development are not subject to SRBC’s regulations.
A full list of withdrawals suspended is available online.
Information on drought conditions is available on the U.S.G.S. Pennsylvania Water Science Center webpage.

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