Today the Susquehanna River Basin Commission announced that they are temporarily suspending 17 separate water withdrawals due to reduced stream flow levels throughout the Susquehanna basin. A winter with little snow, followed by a spring with below-normal rainfall means there’s just not enough water to go around.
SRBC executive director Paul Swartz said that the majority of those suspended withdrawals are related to water for natural gas development.
Under SRBC’s passby flow restrictions, when streams drop to pre-determined protected low flow levels, regulated projects withdrawing water must halt their activities. They cannot resume taking water until streams have recovered above the protected level for at least 48 hours.
“If rainfall shortages persist,” Swartz added, “the Commission anticipates more water withdrawals being suspended, as was the case in 2010 and 2011.” And they’re not going to wait for DEP to declare a drought…. “Our science-based stream protection system kicks in well before streams drop to critical low levels,” he said.
Companies and their water withdrawal sources in Pennsylvania that are temporarily suspended as of today:
- Chesapeake Energy: Sugar Creek
- Healthy Properties: Sugar Creek
- Talisman Energy: Fall Brook at Bense, Seeley Creek at Jones, Sugar Creek at Hoffman, Wappasening Creek at Adriance, unnamed tributary to North Branch Sugar Creek
- Tennessee Gas Pipeline: Towanda Creek
- Eagle Rock Community Association: Abandoned Quarry associated with unnamed tributary to Tomhicken Creek
- EXCO Resources: Muncy Creek at McClintock
- Hughesville-Wolf Township Joint Municipal Authority: wastewater from treatment plant
- Keystone Clearwater Solutions: Lycoming Creek
- XTO Energy: Lick Run, Little Muncy Creek
- Carrizo: unnamed tributary to Middle Branch Wyalusing Creek
- Keystone Clearwater Solutions: Babb Creek
- Tennessee Gas Pipeline: unnamed tributary of North Elk Run
read full announcement here.