The Delaware River Basin Commission, anticipating a drought, intends to limit the flow of cold water from the Cannonsville Reservoir to the surrounding rivers in order to keep more water contained in the reservoir. While this seems like a good thing (more water in the reservoir, more drinking water for New Yorkers), there is in fact a laundry list of reasons why this is a bad idea.
First of all, the trout of the surrounding rivers need a healthy flow of water continuously running through the area in order to thrive. A continuous flow of cold water is not only better for the fish, it is also better for the river itself, serving as a way to clean it out periodically. Water that is too warm or that is not flowing at a high enough rate isn’t good for the river or its fish.
This is just another example of New York City’s mistreatment of the environment of upstate New York and the Delaware Valley. Because our reservoirs take water that would otherwise flow into the Delaware and surrounding rivers, we are required to let some of the reservoirs’ water flow back into the area’s existing rivers. This is the job of the Delaware River Basin Commission. Instead of relying on gambling as a way to increase tourism upstate, we should cultivate and develop the existing tourist attractions provided to us by nature. Instead of suffocating these rivers to a trickle, we must allow them to thrive and to be a prime destination for canoeing, rafting, kayaking and fishing enthusiasts.
As I stand at Washington’s Crossing in Bucks County, seeing the once mighty Delaware River trickle by, I wonder about Washington’s great accomplishment and how it no longer seems significant at all. New York City, in its efforts to strip our great state of one of its greatest features, its beautiful and vast natural environment, has also minimized one of Washington’s greatest achievements.