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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In Pennsylvania

SRBC Requires Nurseries and Other Water Users to Register

Monday, November 13, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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Situational Awareness

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) is requiring that nurseries and other water users in the Susquehanna River Basin register their grandfathered water withdrawals.

Why This Matters

  • Unless a water use is registered, the water user may lose rights to that water in the future as demand on water resources increases.
  • Registration also allows the withdrawals to continue without permit, if no environmental harm is evident.


Under the new registration program, to preserve the exemption from obtaining a permit into the future, facilities must register their consumptive uses by December 31, 2019.

The Details

Generally, the new registration program applies to nurseries, farms or other facilities that:

  • Have a groundwater withdrawal of 100,000 gallons per day* or more initiated prior to July 13, 1978; and/or
  • Have a surface water withdrawal of 100,000 gallons per day* or more initiated prior to November 11, 1995;
  • Consume 20,000 gallons per day* or more from surface water, groundwater, a combination thereof, or any other source (including a public water supply), initiated prior to January 23, 1971.

*Threshold volumes are expressed as consecutive 30-day averages. The facility’s volume is determined by totaling the actual daily withdrawal or consumptive use over the peak consecutive 30-day period, then dividing by 30.

This new program is launching on January 1, 2018 for the registration of older, unpermitted water withdrawals and consumptive use facilities. These older, unpermitted facilities—also known as grandfathered—are those where water withdrawals or consumptive uses equal or exceed the regulatory threshold, but began operating before the applicable regulations became effective. These water withdrawals and uses are generally considered to be exempt from obtaining an SRBC permit or docket, provided there has been no environmental harm.

What You Can Do

Click here for an outline of the registration requirements. 

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