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WT Staff

Saturday, June 8, 2024
State of Water Infrastructure reports warned, Atlanta and Calgary experienced

June 8, 2024 updated 931 am EDT

Drinking Water Advisories
From the US Army Corps of Engineers and US Bureau of Reclamation report on the status of the national drinking water infrastructure released earlier this year, and Utah State University Water Research Lab report released in December, the the serious issue of the condition of North America's water infrastructure blasted into mainstream focus this past week. Atlanta, with a metro population of more than 6 million, and Calgary, Alberta in western Canada with a population 1.6 million have been under States of Emergency this week due to the failure of potable water lines. In Atlanta, the BWA has been rescinded, potable water service restored to more than one hundred thousand customers including a hospital. Similar events in Calgary this week resulted in an Emergency Order. Service has been restored, however the City of Calgary is asking residents to conserve water as the consumption rate exceeds what the City can supply. See a breakdown of the USU report here.

WT USA Flows and Flood Tracker provisional data from the network of USGS streamflow monitors

Fifty-four floodings appear on the USGS network Saturday, the same as Friday. WT USA is tracking twelve of these reference flood events through our coverage area in New York, Ohio, Georgia and Louisiana. At the writing of this report, all active flood sites are located in Louisiana.

Watershed Region 4 Calcasieu River is back to flood stage near Oberlin as of 545 am this morning, this is reference flood event 12 on the Louisiana flood map. Region 2 Little River breached flood stage near Rochelle around 230 am yesterday, becoming the eleventh reference incident. Region 1 watershed Bayou Bodcau Lake is up a foot higher Saturday morning, now three and a half feet above the basin near Shreveport, on a steady rise. Caddo Lake continues flooding, monitored in two locations near Mooringsport. As of writing, the water level appears to have peaked, running not quite a foot over the basin at the dam. Bayou Dorcheat continues to flood, the level is just shy of two and a half feet over flood stage near Springhill and a shade more than two and a half feet over flood stage downstream near Minden. South into Region 4 watershed, border river Sabine appears to have peaked in moderate flood stage, four feet four inches over the channel near Logansport. Still in moderate flood stage near Burkeville, more than five and a half feet over the channel. Downstream near Bon Wier, Sabine is in moderate flood stage nearing five feet above the channel. At the last monitor, water level is a foot and three inches over, up three inches in the last 24 hours with the bulk of flood water still coming down. The east side of this same watershed is drained by the Calcasieu River, flooding more than two feet over near Glenmora and as of this update, back to flooding near Oberlin. Two flood reference locations in Regions 1 and 2 along the Texas border run above the 99th percentile, flood stage is not documented. For more information on the flood trend in Louisiana, see black tags indicating flood flow volume and gauge height, blue tags for 99th percentile flows, updated daily here.

Current Streamflows from the network of USGS river monitors in NYS
The current streamflow dashboard recovered briefly yesterday from below normal to more normal values, today there are more below normal readings creeping back into the west interior. Rain in the forecast tonight and tomorrow, a tenth to quarter of an inch may help to balance streamflows around the seasonal normal after a week long drying trend has sent the majority of NYS surface area into drought mode. The highest flows recorded in the state Saturday morning include a 95th percentile flow in the Mohawk River watershed, a 94th percentile flow in Black River watershed. Two extreme low flows on the board today, Sencea River near Baldwinsville and Swan River on Long Island at 1st percentile flow.

Drought Map
As the drought ratings are drawn from the 7-day running average recorded streamflow data to show the cumulative effect of the prior week. The drought map can expand in two ways, in total surface area below normal, and in the degree below normal. NYS drought has spread in area and in severity in the last couple of days. Lake Ontario minor tributaries west section and interior Oswego River-Finger Lakes watershed remain in moderate hydrologic drought Saturday. Lake Ontario minor tribs central and east section are below normal, St. Lawrence River remains below normal along with adjacent Upper Hudson River and Lake Champlain watersheds. In the southwest, Allegheny River watershed is below normal through Cattaraugus County, matching adjacent Genesee River watershed. Niagara River - Lake Erie surface area running along the Erie-Niagara County line below normal. To the east, Susquehanna River watershed runs below normal from its headwaters and all area of NYS drained by its southward flow. An area of the lower Hudson River is rated below normal at north Orange and south Dutchess Counties.

As many drinking water facilities are supplied from surface water reservoirs, the streamflow situation is pertinent to both drinking water supply and quality. High flows can stir up sediment and cause turbidity in the reservoirs, requiring additional treatments to render the water potable. Low flow volume is linked to warmer temperatures in the reservoir and can be an issue for water quality where HABs are present. WT tracks streamflow trends with an eye to the impacts on drinking water supply and quality in each of the state's watersheds. Check the watershed layer on the map to see the direction of flow and streamflows that may be impacting drinking water today.

USGS Provisional Data Statement
Data are provisional and subject to revision until they have been thoroughly reviewed and received final approval. Current condition data relayed by satellite or other telemetry are automatically screened to not display improbable values until they can be verified.
Provisional data may be inaccurate due to instrument malfunctions or physical changes at the measurement site. Subsequent review based on field inspections and measurements may result in significant revisions to the data.
Data users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of the information before using it for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences. Information concerning the accuracy and appropriate uses of these data or concerning other hydrologic data may be obtained from the USGS.

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