Last year, Delaware River at Montague saw highest flow since 1940

Delaware River Basin Commission does the math, finds a record-breaking year


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  • This chart shows the flows at Montague/Milford




  • The flows at Philadelphia




  • The flows at Trenton




— We all know to the depths of our soggy souls that 2018 was a very wet year.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) looked at U.S. Geological Service (USGS) flow data and found that the numbers prove it.

"Here at the DRBC, one of our roles is to monitor and manage flow rates, primarily in the Delaware River," said Kate Schmidt, DRBC communications specialist. "We do this to ensure there is enough freshwater flowing downstream to keep the ocean/bay salt water pushed back so that it does not endanger the drinking water intakes for Philadelphia and South Jersey."

The DRBC's operations and science staff looked at last year's flow rates, measured in cubic feet per second, and found:

The Delaware River at Montague, N.J., saw the highest median flows since records began in 1940. The measurement is taken about 1,500 feet upstream from the bridge connecting Montague and Milford, Pa.

The Schuylkill River at Philadelphia saw the highest median flows since records began in 1932. The measurement is taken about 150 feet upstream from the Fairmount Dam.

The Delaware River at Trenton, N.J., saw the second-highest median flows with records going back to 1913. The measurement is taken about 450 feet upstream from the Calhoun Street Bridge at Trenton, where the river is still non-tidal. The highest year was 2011, which included flows resulting from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

OnlineHere are a few links to hydrologic products that DRBC staff develop and post weekly:

New York City Delaware River Basin Reservoir Storage Graph: nj.gov/drbc/hydrological/reservoirs/nycdrb-reservoirs.html

Select Delaware River Basin Streamflow and Reservoir Storage Data and be sure to check out the monthly archives. For example, in Aug. 2018, flows averaged over 500 percent of normal at some locations: nj.gov/drbc/hydrological/river/data.html

Monthly archives: nj.gov/drbc/hydrological/river/data-archive.html

Salt Line Location in the Delaware River Estuary: nj.gov/drbc/hydrological/river/salt-line.html



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