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Report of the River Master of the Delaware River for the period December 1, 2011–November 30, 2012

February 10, 2022

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 59th annual report of the River Master of the Delaware River. It covers the 2012 River Master report year, the period from December 1, 2011 to November 30, 2012.

During the report year, precipitation in the upper Delaware River Basin was 43.35 inches or 97 percent of the long-term average. Combined storage in the Pepacton, Cannonsville, and Neversink Reservoirs remained high through late May, declined from then until mid-September, decreasing below 80 percent of combined capacity in late August, increased in late October, and decreased slightly in November 2012. Delaware 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 52 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 also made during the report year. An agreement was signed on October 25, 2012, to increase discharge mitigation releases from the Neversink Reservoir due to potential impacts from Hurricane Sandy.

The quality of water in the Delaware River 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 2022
Title Report of the River Master of the Delaware River for the period December 1, 2011–November 30, 2012
DOI 10.3133/ofr20211095
Authors Vincent J. DiFrenna, William J. Andrews, Kendra L. Russell, J. Michael Norris, Robert R. Mason,
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2021-1095
Index ID ofr20211095
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New England Water Science Center; Office of the Associate Director for Water; Oklahoma Water Science Center