The care and maintenance of the Susquehanna River Basin’s best early warning system against droughts and floods could be at risk.
Stream gauges monitor water levels in the basin.
For the past quarter century, funding for the gauges came in the form of an earmark, says Paul Swartz, who heads the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.
“And so when Congress and the federal government did away with earmarks, the funding for the Susquehanna Flood Forecast and Warning System was lost, and along with it the funding for the stream gauges,” he said. “So now we have to rely every year on trying to patch together funding wherever we can get it.”
A U.S. Senate proposal has allocated $2 million for the gauges.
Now Swartz is calling on House lawmakers to agree to that figure.
He says the importance of the Susquehanna’s river infrastructure can’t be overstated, as it’s one of the most flood-prone river basins in the country.