October 27, 2017

River commission supports 10-year extension of the Flexible Flow Management Program

WEST TRENTON NJ - The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) today recognized with appreciation the new 10-year, two-part Flexible Flow Management Program (FFMP) that was unanimously approved by the parties to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Decree, which are the basin states of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania and the City of New York (NYC) (the decree parties).

“This new agreement helps to balance the water supply needs of the four basin states and NYC,” said DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini.  “At the same time, the agreement continues to evolve to better protect aquatic life, enhance flood mitigation and recreation, manage droughts, and repel the upstream migration of salty ocean water into the Delaware Estuary during periods of low river flow.”

The new agreement guides the releases of water from New York City’s Neversink, Pepacton, and Cannonsville reservoirs, all in New York State’s western Catskills, flow objectives in the main stem Delaware River, and out of basin diversions by New York City and New Jersey.  The most recent iteration of the agreement expired in May.  Since then, the decree parties have negotiated the new agreement using updated forecasting tools and data.

“We are proud to have furnished the decree parties with expert modeling and technical support, along with the staff level coordination needed for informed decision-making.  Members of the DRBC staff worked hard to ensure the parties had the best possible information as they developed this new plan,” said Tambini. 

The decree parties were also supported by the DRBC’s Regulated Flow Advisory Committee (RFAC), a DRBC technical working committee focused on flow management that provides a vehicle for public input to the decree parties.  Many of the changes in the 2017 FFMP were made in response to constructive public input obtained through the RFAC process.

“As the agreement enters the implementation stage, DRBC staff will continue to offer its technical expertise and RFAC process to support and advise the decrees parties as they consider ways to continue to adapt and improve relevant water resource management within the Delaware River Basin,” said Tambini. 

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