Welcome to Our Watershed,

NYC DEP sign after local input

from the Delaware County Board of Supervisors

Supporting Material for the 2018-2019 National Academy of Sciences review of the New York City Watershed Protection Program: Watershed Community Perspective

The landmark 1997 Memorandum of Agreement represents a fusion of interests between New York City in public health protection and the watershed communities and businesses in rural economic vitality.

This page includes links to documents about the local watershed community role and fused local and city roles. This will be updated as the NAS review process continues. Please email questions and recommendations about additions, to Shelly Johnson-Bennett, Director, Delaware County Planning Department (shelly.johnson@co.delaware.ny.us), or Steve Pacenka, Water Specialist, Cornell University BEE Soil and Water Laboratory (sp17@cornell.edu).

NAS panel meetings in NY: Unresolved and forthcoming stresses:
Resolved (?) stresses:
  • A phosphorus TMDL process blocked additional service connections to all municipal wastewater treatment plants in the Cannonsville watershed. This triggered the development of a local phosphorus reduction strategy for nonpoint sources (2002): Delaware County Action Plan for Watershed Protection and Economic Vitality
  • P. E. Cerosaletti, D.G. Fox, L.E. Chase. 2004. Phosphorus Reduction Through Precision Feeding of Dairy Cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 87:2314. Key result of DCAP process. This work later became an ongoing Watershed Agricultural Council program: 2017 NYC WAP Precision Feed Management Program report. "Total pool of manure phosphorus excretions managed per year, program, kgs 37,761".
  • Nutrient Management: Dale Dewing. Undated. Balancing Agricultural Viability and Water Quality in the New York City Watershed.
  • Laurence Day. 2004. Septic Systems as Potential Pollution Sources in the Cannonsville Reservoir Watershed, New York. Journal of Environmental Quality, 33:1996. Day is a staff member of the Soil and Water Conservation District and recognized as the onsite wastewater expert in the watershed for many years. A longer form report is available.
Ongoing consensus programs:
  • Watershed Agricultural Council. This nonprofit maintains over 90% voluntary participation and has ongoing rapport with farms for pathogen and nutrient management. Conducts economic vitality activities and easement program. Also operates a watershed forest program. Governed locally, funded primarily by New York City and USDA.
  • Catskill Watershed Corporation This local development corporation provides financial and technical assistance to West of Hudson NYC watershed communities and businesses for both water quality protection and business development. Governed locally, funded by New York City.

  • Stream corridor management plans, coordinated by the Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Scientific and scholarly legal support (highly selective):
  • Phosphorus reduction from a monitored farm with BMPs: Patricia L. Bishop, W. Dean Hively, Jery R. Stedinger, Michael R. Rafferty, Jeffrey L. Lojpersberger and Jay A. Bloomfield. 2005. Multivariate Analysis of Paired Watershed Data to Evaluate Agricultural Best Management Practice Effects on Stream Water Phosphorus. Journal of Environmental Quality, 34:1087–1101. doi:10.2134/jeq2004.0194 . P Bishop was NYS DEC staff scientist, now retired.
  • Watershed modeling: Town Brook Research Group. Temporarily: Cornell material about variable source area hydrology. This group was (is?) a loose federation of scientists from the New York City DEP watershed modeling group, Cornell University BEE Soil and Water Lab, US Geological Survey Water Resources Division NY Water Center, and USDA Agricultural Research Service Pasture Systems Research Lab at Penn State University. See the temporary link (content out of date) for publications.
  • Faculty Research Group on Communities and Watershed Planning. July 1994. Communities and Watershed Planning: Shaping a Research Agenda. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Note especially the appendix about a completed phone survey of sentiment in watershed.
  • Jennifer Church. 2009. Avoiding Further Conflict: A Case Study of the New York City Watershed Land Acquisition Program in Delaware County, NY, 27 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 393 (2009) Available at: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/pelr/vol27/iss1/13 Author advised by Professor John Nolon, who served as expert reviewer during the County's Downeast project.
  • Regional socioeconomic trends. (more material pending)

    Economic monitoring template: New Jersey Pinelands Commission. June 2018. Long-Term Economic Monitoring Program, 2017 Annual Report. Pinelands Commission, New Lisbon NJ.

    (This process is cited as a model of economic monitoring in the Downeast work. Pinelands monitoring is funded by the National Park Service and work done by Pinelands Commission staff.)

  • From an insider legal scholar's perspective: Keith S. Porter. 2006. Fixing Our Drinking Water: From Field and Forest to Faucet. Free download available at: https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/pelr/vol23/iss2/4
Roots before the MOA:
We would like to cross-link with NYC DEP material for the NAS review, particularly about water quality in streams and reservoirs.


And welcome to our home!



Temporary url this page: http://soilandwater.bee.cornell.edu/People/spacenka/delaware-county/nas-local.htm
Last revised S Pacenka 2018 09 30 to reformat and add links and annotations.