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Corps To Lower Water Levels At F.E. Walter Dam

For Immediate Release

November 8, 2002

(PHILADELPHIA) - In coordination with the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today will begin lowering water levels at the Francis E. Walter Dam from 1,370 feet to its normal 1,300 feet.

"Based on hydrological conditions and adequate water supplies at Beltzville Lake and Blue Marsh Lake, we have determined that it is no longer necessary to store water at F.E. Walter in response to drought conditions," said Philadelphia District Engineer Lt. Col. Thomas C. Chapman.

The Corps had released approximately one billion gallons of water from F.E. Walter at the request of the DRBC for the purpose of maintaining the flow target at Trenton during the height of the drought.

"This inter-agency cooperation is a good example of what can be accomplished when we all work together," said Carol R. Collier, the DRBC's executive director. "The extra storage enabled us to bolster stream flows during the dry months to meet the needs of downstream users and to help protect aquatic life. It was a big help."

The plan calls for releasing water at an average of 750 to 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) until the normal level is reached by the end of December.

Immediate benefits of the water release include enhanced conditions for whitewater raft-ing beginning this weekend. In addition, the water level reduction will accelerate the emergence of the dam's local access road, which is currently 70 feet underwater.

F.E. Walter Dam is located on the Lehigh River and Bear Creek near White Haven, Pa.