The rains from tropical storm Nicole have passed and left behind a good amount of water in the parched mountains of northeast Pennsylvania and New York’s Catskill Mountains. This storm didn’t just slip in and out with its life giving water but unfortunately took lives and property from the Caribbean to the US East Coast.
It seems ironic that just a few days ago the powers that be reduced the flow of the Upper Delaware River to a mere trickle threatening the lives of the rivers wild inhabitants. Yet, today the rivers flood. The flow reduction is how the Delaware River Basin Commission and the parties to the 1954 US Supreme Court Decree attempt to hoard the water in New York City’s Delaware reservoirs. They see a forecast of rain so they immediately starve the river of water under the assumption that the rain will continue the flow.
What they don’t realize is the same same rain that is projected to flow down the river will also flow into the reservoirs thus offsetting any slower, ramped down release from the dams they could have provided. The man-made destruction of aquatic life that occurred this past week was not necessary. And it assuredly was not needed preserve any water in the reservoir.
As the so called water management plan that’s in place, known as the Flexible Flow Management Plan (FFMP) reaches its expiration date, it is urgent that a more common sense plan be adopted. Of all the conservation groups that care about the health of the river there is only one that has the Upper Delaware River as its only focus, and that is The Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR)
I encourage everyone who cares about this wonderful part of the world to join FUDR in its objective to, “protect, preserve and enhance the ecosystem and cold-water fishery of the Upper Delaware River System and to address any environmental threats to our area for the benefit of local communities, residents and visitors to the region.”