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Open-File Report 2014–1111

Report of the River Master of the Delaware River for the period December 1, 2007–November 30, 2008

By Bruce E. Krejmas, Gary N. Paulachok, and Stephen F. Blanchard

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.98 MB) Abstract

A Decree of the Supreme Court of the United States, entered June 7, 1954, established the position of Delaware River Master within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In addition, the Decree authorizes diversions of water from the Delaware River Basin and requires compensating releases from certain reservoirs, owned by New York City, to be made under the supervision and direction of the River Master. The Decree stipulates that the River Master will furnish reports to the Court, not less frequently than annually. This report is the 55th Annual Report of the River Master of the Delaware River. It covers the 2008 River Master report year, the period from December 1, 2007, to November 30, 2008.

During the report year, precipitation in the upper Delaware River Basin was 49.79 inches (in.) or 114 percent of the 67 report-year average. Combined storage in Pepacton, Cannonsville, and Neversink Reservoirs remained high from December 2007 to May 2008. Reservoir storage decreased seasonally from June to late October, then increased gradually through the end of November. Delaware River operations during the year were conducted as stipulated by the Decree.

Diversions from the Delaware River Basin by New York City and New Jersey were in full compliance with the Decree. Reservoir releases were made as directed by the River Master at rates designed to meet the flow objective for the Delaware River at Montague, New Jersey, on 107 days during the report year. Releases were made at conservation rates—rates designed to relieve thermal stress and protect the fishery and aquatic habitat in the tailwaters of the reservoirs—on all other days.

During the report year, New York City and New Jersey complied fully with the terms of the Decree, and directives and requests of the River Master.

As part of a long-term program, the quality of water in the Delaware Estuary between Trenton, New Jersey, and Reedy Island Jetty, Delaware, was monitored at various locations. Data on water temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and pH were collected continuously by electronic instruments at four sites. Data on water temperature and specific conductance were collected intermittently at one site. In addition, selected water-quality data were collected at 19 sites on a twice-monthly basis and at 3 sites on a monthly basis.

First posted August 5, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Deputy Delaware River Master
U.S. Geological Survey
10 Buist Road, Bldg. 3, Suite 304
Milford Professional Park
Milford, PA 18337
Fax: 570–296–9414

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Suggested citation:

Krejmas, B.E., Paulachok, G.N., and Blanchard, S.F., 2014, Report of the River Master of the Delaware River for the period December 1, 2007–November 30, 2008: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1111, 78 p.,

ISSN 0196-1497 (print)

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)


River Master Letter of Transmittal and Special Report

Delaware River Operations

Quality of Water in the Delaware Estuary

Appendix A. Agreement (Temporary Increase in Controlled Releases from New York City Reservoirs)

Appendix B. Agreement (Temporary Wet Spring Release Schedule Adjustment for April 2008)

Appendix C. Agreement (Creation of an Interim Excess Release Quantity Extraordinary Needs Bank for an Emergency Thermal Releases Program for Fishery Protection)

Appendix D. Temporary Releases Program for 2008 Rondout-West Branch Tunnel Shutdown

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