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DRBC Weblicates Snapshot 1997

For Immediate Release

May 1, 1998

(WEST TRENTON, N.J.) - The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has moved the entire 65-page Water Snapshot 97 to the DRBC site on the World Wide Web. Anyone with access to the Internet and a Web browser can retrieve the complete report or any part of it from http://www.state.nj.us/drbc. With Adobe Acrobat Reader, also available through the DRBC web site, readers can print out the report in the same format as the original document.

Water Snapshot 97 is the second in what will be a continuing annual series of water quality measurements throughout the Delaware River Basin. These thousands of measurements are conducted over a ten-day period -- virtually simultaneously as hydrologic processes go -- in April. The sampling period deliberately commemorates the annual Earth Day observance, whose date the Snapshot period straddles.

For Water Snapshot 97, some 350 mostly volunteer individuals representing 79 organizations collected more than 2,000 pieces of data at 358 sampling points on 174 waterways throughout the Delaware Basin. Analyzed and tabulated, these samples truly provide a snapshot of the Basin's waters as they were during that ten days in April 1997. Most important, these tabulations of pH, nitrate, phosphate, dissolved oxygen, and the like, combined with similar data from the first Snapshot in 1996 provide a general baseline against which to measure the health of the Basin and of its component watersheds -- the Lehigh, the Neshaminy, the Schuylkill, the Brandywine, the Christina Basin and the hundreds more springs, creeks, streams and rivers that together form the Delaware River Basin.

The Water Snapshot 97 report is not a dry compilation of statistics. Its first section is an entertainingly written overview of the Basin, its tributaries, the Snapshot program itself and the individuals and organizations that made it possible. Naturally, it also includes the conclusions and inferences that expert water quality analysts have drawn from the mountains of data.

Appendix A contains the reduced data in tabular form for every sampling point in the study. Care to know how the water in your part of the Basin compared to other areas in April 1997? You will find that information here.

The final section, Appendix B, identifies every participant that helped to make the project a success.

Sampling for Water Snapshot 98, made even more extensive than the ‘97 effort as a result of experience from the first two Snapshots, was completed on April 26, 1998. Volunteers have until May 30 to submit their data. Commission staff will summarize the data and issue the '98 report later this year.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) was formed in 1961 via a Congressionally ratified Compact between the states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York with the Federal Government as a participating party. The Commission has broad powers to regulate and control water usage and distribution among the four Compact states. Since the Commission was formed, no water dispute between or among any of the states has ever gone to court. The Commission itself, for which the only court of jurisdiction is the Federal Court system, has successfully negotiated all such matters to the satisfaction of all parties.