Drinking It!

http://www.livingplaces.com/PA/Bucks_County/Plumstead_Township/Point_Pleasant.html       A nice river town called Point Pleasant, Pa  (With an interesting history).


http://www.state.nj.us/dep/njgs/geodata/dgs04-8ug.htm  This is where the water from the Delaware river actually goes (no matter how clean it is..).


Let us be perfectly clear, There is NO BACKUP PLAN if this water supply is contaminated...  Nothing fast (or affordable) can be done to replace or remediate it. The people and the plants and animals in the Ecosystems will just have to drink, shower and deal with it, if the water quality is compromised...  I say if, but in truth, This is a fact.  We already have Superfund sites that are leaking PCBs and other toxic contamination into this watershed.  We already have hormones and drugs that pass through the existing water treatment plants that are unknowingly being consumed by the people and industries that use this tap water.  The existing treatment facilities were not designed to filter drugs and toxic chemical waste. Hormones that pass through the existing water treatment facilities will need to be the subject of a dedicated webtab... 


Do some research on you own and see how you end up feeling about this evolving situation...because remember, at some point you really will need to decide to actually do something.


OK...Back to the facts....

There are four major depletive users upstream of the Trenton gage. They are, in order from upstream to downstream:

1) New York City has been diverting water from the Delaware watershed to the Hudson watershed since 1954. Diversions are made from the Cannonsville Reservoir on the West Branch Delaware River, the Pepacton Reservoir on the East Branch Delaware River, and the Neversink Reservoir on the Neversink River.  

2) The Delaware and Raritan Canal withdraws water from the Delaware River near Raven Rock in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The canal was completed in 1834. It has been utilized as a water supply since 1948. Water is diverted primarily to the Raritan watershed.

3) The Point Pleasant pump station removes water from the Delaware River near Point Pleasant in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It has supplied water to the Philadelphia Electric Company, the North Wales Water Authority, and the North Penn Water Authority since 1989. The water is returned to the Delaware River via the Schuylkill River, after some consumptive loss, below the streamflow gage at Trenton..

4) Trenton City has withdrawn water from the Delaware River in Mercer County, New Jersey, since at least 1925. The water is withdrawn upstream of the Trenton streamflow gage and returned to the Delaware River, after some consumptive loss, below the gage.

Here are the numbers:

In 2002 New York City exported 182 billion gallons of water out of the Delaware basin and the Delaware and Raritan Canal 29 billion gallons. Withdrawals in 2002 by the Point Pleasant pump station (13 billion gallons) and Trenton City (7.6 billion gallons) were returned to the Delaware River, after some consumptive loss, below the Trenton streamflow gage. 


One other fact that must be highlighted...These numbers are only for municipal water systems that take water directly from the Delaware River.

There are millions and millions of private wells in the Delaware watershed. When these individual wells are contaminated (or go dry), there will NOT BE enough water in the actual Delaware River to replace the water that is no longer available (because it has been contaminated or wasted)..  There are technical and legal reasons why it is not feasible to remove very much more water out of the flowing river itself.  What needs to be clear is. If you have a private well and it is contaminated or goes dry, you will need to move. (You can import water if you have the money,but at some point in the near future, the available supply will not meet the demand...which means that no one can sell you what they already have sold to someone else.).  If everyone moves to a city or town with a municipal water supply (Philadelphia for example), that does not mean that Philadelphia can just start taking more water out of the Delaware River.  That's not how it works.  There are 4 designated place that have been designed and approved to take water directly from the Delaware river and they are listed in the section that you have just read. Each has been assigned a maximum allocation that is based on the physical constraints on how much total water is available.   So...We need to protect the flowing rivers themselves...No Doubt.  but... the distributed network of Private wells also needs to be protected just as much so that an influx of "Water Refugees" is not a growing problem in the future...


We have been lucky and are Blessed with a lot of clean water in this part of the United States, We need to appreciate that and value it and protect it.

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