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Report of the River Master of the Delaware River for the period December 1, 2009–November 30, 2010

November 26, 2019

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. In addition, the Decree authorizes diversion 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 57th Annual Report of the River Master of the Delaware River. It covers the 2010 River Master report year, the period from December 1, 2009, to November 30, 2010.

During the report year, precipitation in the upper Delaware River Basin was 49.38 inches or 112 percent of the long-term average. Combined storage in Pepacton, Cannonsville, and Neversink Reservoirs remained high much of the year and did not decline below 80 percent of combined capacity until September 2010. A lower basin drought warning was issued by the Delaware River Basin Commission on September 24, 2010. It automatically ended on October 31, 2010, when the reservoir contents rose above drought levels, due in large part to heavy rainfall during the last week of September. River Master operations during the year were conducted as stipulated by the Decree and the Flexible Flow Management Program.

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 81 days during the report year. Interim Excess Release Quantity and conservation releases, designed to relieve thermal stress and protect the fishery and aquatic habitat in the tailwaters of the reservoirs, were made during the report year.

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.

Publication Year 2019
Title Report of the River Master of the Delaware River for the period December 1, 2009–November 30, 2010
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191093
Authors Kendra L. Russell, Darwin Ockerman, Bruce E. Krejmas, Gary N. Paulachok, Robert R. Mason,
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2019-1093
Index ID ofr20191093
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Office of Surface Water; Office of the Associate Director for Water; Texas Water Science Center