Water transfer from Schoharie to Ashokan, concerns about water availability

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation put out the following statement:

DEC today authorized the release of water from Schoharie Reservoir through the Shandaken Tunnel to Ashokan Reservoir. With the state facing potential drought conditions this spring and summer, this action will reduce the loss of water from the NYC water supply system. While reservoir levels themselves are normal at this time, NYCDEP staff is concerned about other factors that could limit the availability of water to the NYC system in the future. The current low stream flows, lack of snowpack, early bloom of vegetation and projected long-term forecasts of high temperatures may increase the probability of shortfalls in water availability later in the year. Water is not presently being released from the Ashokan Reservoir to the Lower Esopus Creek, except for a small conservation release. Current projections are that water transferred from the Schoharie Reservoir will be contained within the Ashokan Reservoir and not result in additional releases into the Lower Esopus. The release of water from the Schoharie Reservoir will help assure the reliability of the water supply to continue to serve NYC and the upstate communities.

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection provided the following supplemental information with the DEC statement:

We have increased the Catskill Aqueduct diversion to 500 mgd to Kensico. Ashokan water quality continues to improve. We are going to move some more water from Schoharie to Ashokan but not enough to put us over the CSSO [Conditional Seasonal Storage Objective]. We dropped to the minimum release rate [10 mgd] IAW the Interim Protocol almost two weeks ago and intend to stay there. Turbidity of the release is now in the low teens and will continue to improve. We have also increased the diversion from Schoharie to Ashokan. Currently at 345 mgd and 18 ntu.

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