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NYC Announces Schoharie Reservoir Release to Offset Winter Snowpack

Written By Timothy Knight on 3/23/15 | 3/23/15


New York City Department of Environmental Protection officials laid out a new path for handling and preventing excessive reservoir levels at the Gilboa Dam before the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors on Friday morning.

A path that was praised by local officials.

Announcing the city's intention to reduce reservoir levels annually down to 90% of available capacity from October 15 to March 15, DEP officials explained that the release would serve as a flood mitigation measure against accumulated snowpack in the winter.

Assemblyman Peter Lopez, thanking the city's representatives, commented that his office "found the City of New York listening to us," in what he described as intelligent and thoughtful exchanges between Upstate and New York City representatives.

The plan, not set to take place until construction of the permanent release chamber at the reservoir is complete in 2020, also calls for a daily minimum conservation release of 10-15 million gallons to improve habitat conditions in the Schoharie Creek.

"This is wonderful news," stated Howard Bartholomew of Dam Concerned Citizens, a not-for-profit advocacy group for the Gilboa Dam and Schoharie Reservoir. He would later say that the DEP was "killing two birds with one stone" in their initiative

The Schoharie Reservoir is the northernmost reservoir in the city's water supply system and has been a source of controversy and discontent between Schoharie County and the city with respects to the potential for flooding caused by the Gilboa Dam.

Blenheim Supervisor Shawn Smith praised the agreement by stating, "This is a great step toward a cooperative agreement which will protect the people of Blenheim from future flooding events, which is of the utmost importance to our town." 
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