FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE01-01
Watershed Management Strategy To Be Developed
Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today the signing of a
contract to develop a watershed management strategy for the reservoir
basins of the City's Croton Water Supply System. The Croton System
consists of 12 reservoirs and three controlled lakes in Putnam and
Westchester Counties. Their watersheds, or basins, collect precipitation
that drains to each of those water bodies. The overall watershed that
supplies the Croton System has an area of 374 square miles, primarily
in Putnam and Westchester Counties and includes small portions of
southern Dutchess County and Connecticut.
"The purposes of the contract are two-fold," said Commissioner
Miele. "The first is to identify and prioritize existing and
potential sources of environmental impairment at the 'sub-basin scale,'
that is, the dozens of individual basins that serve each of the system's
reservoirs within the overall Croton watershed. The second is to develop
management strategies that will address the sources of pollution."
The Project Team is headed by Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., with HydroQual
and LimnoTech as sub-consultants. A panel of independent, academic
experts will review the work at key points during the project, ensuring
the scientific integrity of the final product. Members of the External
Peer Review panel are:
- Sean Ahearn (Hunter College, City University of New York)
- Dr. Douglas Haith (Cornell University)
- Eugene Driscoll (HydroQual)
- Thomas Scheuler (Center for Watershed Protection)
- Dr. Lenore Clesceri (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Under the contract, pertinent data will be collected from a variety
of federal, state, county and municipal sources, including DEP's extensive
data bases, and will be transformed into a Geographical Information
System (GIS) format. (GIS formats involve overlay maps, each of which
depicts one type of information, such as the population density, roads
or water bodies of a particular area.) The data will be analyzed to
assess water quality management needs and priorities for each of the
reservoir basins. The results will be presented in a series of basin
reports, as well as a final report that details an integrated watershed
protection strategy for the entire Croton System.
The consultants will use all the information gathered, including
the recommendations of the External Peer Reviewers, to estimate non-point
phosphorous loadings and develop additional measurements for phosphorus,
turbidity, pathogens and toxics at the sub-basin level. Analyses of
specific sub-basin attributes will include population density, land
use, proximity to streams, reservoirs and intake structures, as well
as percentages of impervious cover, soil type and vegetative cover.
Stormwater inputs will be a significant factor in classifying the
As part of the contract, the consultants will develop GIS-based
management tools for the Department. This software will allow for
more efficient use of available data, better integration of programs,
and the ability to update the analyses as newer data becomes available.
"When the Croton Watershed Management Strategy contract is
completed, DEP will have an integrated framework for the Croton System
that will allow us to focus limited resources on critical areas and
sub-basins to achieve maximum water quality benefits," said Commissioner
Miele. "We will use this information to target land acquisition
and other protection programs, and to focus special monitoring on
high-risk sub-basins to identify new problem sites."