The waters of the Susquehanna River are used for many purposes—domestic, municipal, agricultural, commercial, industrial, energy, ecological, and recreational. These competing needs led to the drafting of the Susquehanna River Basin Compact, which states that the Commission must balance sustainable economic development with conserving the Basin’s aquatic ecosystems.
What does the Commission Regulate?
Water withdrawals of 100,000 gallons per day (gpd) or more over a 30-day average from any source or combination of sources within the Basin are regulated. All water withdrawals that supply water to a regulated consumptive use are also regulated. All water withdrawn for natural gas activities must obtain Commission approval.
Consumptive Water Uses
Any consumptive water use of 20,000 gpd or more over a 30-day average from any water source is regulated. Consumptive water use is defined as water that is withdrawn either from groundwater, surface water, or from public water supplies, and is used in such a way that it is not returned to the Basin undiminished in quantity. Water is considered lost to the Basin when, for example, it is evaporated, transpired due to irrigation, incorporated into manufactured products, or injected underground. All consumptive water use for natural gas activities must obtain Commission approval.
Any quantity of water diverted into the Basin is subject to review and approval. Water withdrawn from within the Basin and diverted out of the Basin is regulated if the quantity is 20,000 gpd or more over a 30-day average. In general, diversions into the Basin are scrutinized for water quality impacts; diversions out of the Basin are regulated as consumptive use because the water withdrawn is lost to the Basin.
The Commission's Regulations
The Commission’s regulations, codified at 18 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 801, 806, 807, and 808, contain the standards and procedures used by the Commission for the review and approval of water resources projects and related enforcement and oversight activities.
Final Rulemaking - Review and Approval of Projects (effective October 1, 2021)
For more information on what the Commission regulates, click here.