Are NYC’s Reservoirs Too Full to Handle Irene?

@dotearth reader posted on this issue:

New York City is once again finding it necessary to dump storage from its reservoirs, not because of the unusual situation of an approaching hurricane, but from the yearly situation of over full reservoirs due to an unresponsive and inappropriate reservoir operating program. New York City’s reservoirs continue to cause and exacerbate floods unnecessarily on a yearly basis since it fundamentally changed its demand pattern and reduced its overall need after substantial completion of a universal metering program, a program that was called for as far back as 1919 to avoid having to construct unnecessary reservoirs. Perhaps this year flood impacts from the reservoirs, already more full than they should be this time of year if operated properly, may equal the destruction they contributed to in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

In those years, again due to New York City’s inappropriate operating program, the three Delaware reservoirs of Pepacton, Cannonsville and Neversink were already surcharged before the storms’ peak rainfall hit. New Jersey has published on their Water Supply information website a White Paper detailing how New York City’s operations exacerbate flooding while the operating plan and model obscure flood risk. The White Paper’s been available over a year. Yet the agencies responsible for protecting the public safety have been so incompetent they have ignored both it and evidence of their own studies and have refused to assess New York City’s safe yields and operations to craft an appropriate operating plan to adequately protect the Delaware and Hudson basins from operations induced flood risks.

It’s not global warming exacerbating flood intensity; its engineering incompetence and bureaucratic inertia allowing New York City to dictate to the USGS the DRBC the EPA FEMA and four states how it will abuse the raparian rights of others, violate a Supreme Court Decree and hold or dump from its reservoirs as it pleases under the OST and other pseudo operating improvements.

Old library gets major energy retrofit, from insulation to windows, with much more in store. Good model for what’s doable with traditional structures.

Old library gets major energy retrofit, from insulation to windows, with much more in store. Good model for what’s doable with traditional structures.

Tags: design local

Stopping in for local corn, surveyed Vera’s heirloom tomato collection, Cold Spring, N.Y.

Stopping in for local corn, surveyed Vera’s heirloom tomato collection, Cold Spring, N.Y.

Tags: local

As I hunt + peck this post-stroke @dotearth update, I’m exasperated by the inadequately realized potential of “Telestroke” technology to speed treatment in the first critical hours of care. Here’s one example of how it works. The five-foot-tall robot-style attending neurologist looks goofy, but this is important stuff.

This is a fantastic manifestation of how the human capacities for specialization, communication and technological innovation lead to rational optimism — although the pace of adoption has been achingly slow in the stroke field, as I’ll be writing soon.

Every time I see a red eft crawling on late-spring moss, I thank the fates that chytrid fungus hasn’t hit middle latitudes… More amphibians from Dot Earth: 

November 7, 2010, 9:05 AM

Newts in November

An amphibian encounter in chilly November.

June 2, 2010, 12:39 PM

Dot Shot: Amphibians in Suburbia

Looking forward to playing Beacon’s School of Jellyfish Saturday evening with Paddy Boom, David Ross (Colbert Report appearance?!), Rebecca Cross, David Rothenberg, Jonathan Rose…

Looking forward to playing Beacon’s School of Jellyfish Saturday evening with Paddy Boom, David Ross (Colbert Report appearance?!), Rebecca Cross, David Rothenberg, Jonathan Rose…

Tags: music local

Photo grabbed from UNCLE WADE performance at Philipstown.info offices. Here’s the video.

Photo grabbed from UNCLE WADE performance at Philipstown.info offices. Here’s the video.

In context of Twitter #birdclass really hoping this woodcock returns to our yard this spring. More under the “local” tag at Dot Earth.

Great day clearing trails at Garrison School Forest. But our lopper and root hook weren’t big enough for this obstacle. School Forest Day this Friday. More from this part of the Hudson Valley in the "local" category on Dot Earth.

Great day clearing trails at Garrison School Forest. But our lopper and root hook weren’t big enough for this obstacle. School Forest Day this Friday. More from this part of the Hudson Valley in the "local" category on Dot Earth.