On March 24th, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission released notes about the public portion of their quarterly Commission meeting, which included a variety of water withdrawal permits. Specific locations were not included in the report, so the geographic information available on our DataTool is approximate.
March 2011 SRBC Water Withdrawals by Source Type. Please click the information tool (“i” button) then a map feature for more information. Please click on the gray compass rose and double carat (^) to hide those menus.
Water permits issued by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission at their March 2011 quarterly meeting by water source type, in millions of gallons per day.
March 2011 SRBC Water Withdrawals by Industry Type. Please click the information tool (“i” button) then a map feature for more information. Please click on the gray compass rose and double carat (^) to hide those menus.
Water permits issued by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission at their March 2011 quarterly meeting by applicant’s industry type, in millions of gallons per day.
The financial sector in the chart above is represented by Peoples Financial Services. Their own company website is almost completely useless, but the New York Times explains that they are a commercial and retail bank, primarily active in Susquehanna and Wyoming counties. There is no reason to think that a regional bank would go through a million gallons of water a day, so their permit request seems likely to be on behalf of one of their clients.
The total permitted amount approved on March 10, 2011 is 15.695 million gallons per day. According to the American Water Works Association, the average daily per capita residential water usage is 69.3 gallons, meaning that the water permits approved in the Susquehanna River Basin this month is the equivalent to the water usage of 226,479 people.
Remote Water Quality Monitoring Network
While we are discussing the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, they have an interesting tool called the Remote Water Quality Monitoring Network, which is a collection of solar powered water monitoring stations, and provides real time data for pH, conductance, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. In browsing this for a moment or two, the pH level for Canacadea Creek near Almond, NY stuck out. It’s value of 3.87 is acidic enough to kill most fish and macroinvertebrates. The tool also has historic data, which shows that a month and a half ago, the pH from the same location was up at 8.79 pH units.
While I certainly hope that the SRBC and other authorities in New York figure out what’s going on in Canacadea Creek, I applaud the transparency that the Remote Water Quality Monitoring Network brings to the table. In the 21st Century, residents should have access to tools of this nature to alert them to real-time environmental challenges in their own communities.