Report of the River Master of the Delaware River for the Period December 1, 2012–November 30, 2013

Open-File Report 2022-1068
By: , and 



A Decree of the Supreme Court of the United States, entered June 7, 1954, established the position of Delaware River Master within the U.S. Geological Survey. In addition, the Decree authorizes diversion of water from the Delaware River Basin and requires compensating releases from certain reservoirs, owned by New York City, to be made under the supervision and direction of the River Master. The Decree stipulates that the River Master will furnish reports to the Court, not less frequently than annually. This report is the 60th annual report of the River Master of the Delaware River. It covers the 2013 River Master report year, the period from December 1, 2012 to November 30, 2013.

During the report year, precipitation in the upper Delaware River Basin was 44.50 inches or 100 percent of the long-term average. Combined storage in the Pepacton, Cannonsville, and Neversink Reservoirs remained high until October 2013 when it decreased below 80 percent combined capacity. The lowest combined storage of the report year was 70.2 percent of combined capacity on November 26, 2013. Delaware River Master operations during the year were conducted as stipulated by the Decree and the Flexible Flow Management Program.

Diversions from the Delaware River Basin by New York City and New Jersey were in full compliance with the Decree. Reservoir releases were made as directed by the River Master at rates designed to meet the Montague flow objective for the Delaware River at the Montague, New Jersey streamgage on 71 days during the report year. Interim Excess Release Quantity and conservation releases, designed to relieve thermal stress and protect the fishery and aquatic habitat in the tailwaters of the reservoirs, were also made during the report year. An agreement was signed on July 16, 2013 to temporarily increase releases to provide thermal protection below Cannonsville Reservoir.

The quality of water in the Delaware River estuary between streamgages at Trenton, New Jersey, and Reedy Island Jetty, Delaware, was monitored at several locations. Data on water temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and pH were collected continuously by electronic instruments at four sites.

Suggested Citation

DiFrenna, V.J., Andrews, W.J., Russell, K.L., Norris, J.M., and Mason, R.R., Jr., 2022, Report of the River Master of the Delaware River for the period December 1, 2012–November 30, 2013: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2022–1068, 99 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

ISSN: 0196-1497 (print)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method to Determine Directed Releases from New York City Reservoirs
  • Hydrologic Conditions
  • Operations
  • Quality of Water in the Delaware River Estuary
  • References Cited
  • Tables 1, 3–11, and 13–20
  • Glossary
  • Appendix 1. Agreement of the Parties to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Decree, Effective June 1, 2013
  • Appendix 2. Temporary Thermal Releases Program for Fishery Protection
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Report of the River Master of the Delaware River for the period December 1, 2012–November 30, 2013
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2022-1068
ISBN 978-1-4113-4486-0
DOI 10.3133/ofr20221068
Year Published 2022
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Office of the Associate Director for Water
Description xii, 99 p.
Country United States
State Delaware, New Jesey, New York, Pennsylvania
Other Geospatial Delaware River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details