New England Regional Planning Commission.

Water resources of New England. Drainage basin data and problems. online

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PUBLICATION • N9 51
DECEMBBR1- 1937

NEW -EMGlAMD REGIONAL
PLANNING • COMMISSION

NATIONAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
REGION . .-. J . ONE

2IOO FEDERAL BUILDING
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS

llllllllllllllllll



^.- I . I



J -b- V I J \ i



^^



.1.1



MAP N2 I I



NOTE
AREAS WITHOUT CONTOURS IN
MAIWE MIW HAMPSHIRE AND VERMONT
ARE AREAS FOR WHICH F1NALSHEET5
HAD MOT BEEN ISSUED BY THE
U.S GEO LOGICAL SURVEY UP TO
AUGUST 1937.




NEW ENGLAND
WATER RESOURCES

TOPOGRAPHY

JUNE 50 1937

^^^ 200 FOOT CONTOURS
PRINCIPAL RIVERS

m GENERAL RlVtRS
5HOWM DRAIM AT LEAST
100 SQUARE MILES.

- PRINCIPAL WATERSHEDS



O 10 20 30 40 50

MILES

NEWINGIAND REGIONAL PLWISINGCOMMISSIOH

NATIONAi.RE50URCE5 C30MM1TTIX DISTRICT N^i
eiOO rEDERAL BU I LOmo BOSTO>{ MASSACHIUHTS



WATEH RESOUECES OF NEW ENGLAND
Draina|g:e Basin Data and Problems



NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL PLANNING COMinSSION
December 1, 1337



Prepared by the Drainage Basin Committees
for Maine and for Central New England

with, the cooperation of

National Resoijxces Committee, Region One
2100 Federal Building, Boston, Massachusetts



ii



Mimeographed by

National Resources Committee, Region One
Boston, Massachusetts



June 1, 193s



NATIONAL RES QUE CSS COMIJITTE-E

FIELD OFFICE

2100 Federal Building

Boston, Massachusetts



June 30, 1933



Hon. Harold L. I ekes

Chairman, National Sesources Committee

North Interior Building

Washington, D. 0.

Dear Sir,

As Chairman of the Nev/ England Regional Planning Commission and of the Maine
and Central New England Drainage Basin Committees, I have the honor to
transmit to yoti herewith our Report - lATEH HESO'iJECES of NEW ENJLAIID.

I comraend this Report to your especial attention "because it is not merely
a revision of the Water Resiources Report (New England section) of December,
1936 - it is more than that. Not only is the material of the I936 Report
brought ixp to date, but during the calendar year of 1937 careful research
was continued and data never before available in printed form has been com-
piled. The present Report can safely be said to be the nearer.t to a complete
appraisal of the wa,ter resources of New England that has ever been given to
the public.

We have been fortunate in having on our staff during the period of gathering,
analysing and compiling data several technicians whose ability as e>ajerts
in the various water problems has made for accuracy and comprehensiveness
in the mtmuscript. Following the compilation of the report, it was sub-
mitted for criticism by the members of the Drain.age Basin Committees, the
members of the New England Regional Planning Comrdssion, and various experts
of State and Federal Deriartnents. Their criticisms were then incorporated
in this final version.

The highest use we can wish to be made of our Report is that it shall serve
as a reliable so-orce of information and guidance for whatever agencies may
share in the duty of developing to the best advantage the WATER RESOURCES
of LIEW ENGLAND.

Very trtily yours.



Victor M. Cutter
Chairman



IvIEMSEES 0¥ JOINT STATE - PEDERA.L MS I II COMvil TTEES

I. i/iAIlE DRA.INAGE EASINS

State and Local Representatives

Maine

Bryant L. Hopkins, Hydraulic Engineer, Waterville.

David E. Moiaton, Attorney, Portlan'^'. Water District, Portland.

Hew Hampshire

llajor John Jacohson, Jr., Chairman, Water Resources Board, Concord

Members, Water Resources Committee, New England Regional Planning;: Com .
Sidney S. Anthony, Engineer and Superintendent, Aug-asta Water

District, Augusta, Me.
James M. Bryne, H^'draulic Engineer, Do-'aariscotta, Me.
Perry H. Merrill, St^te Forester, Montpelier, Vt.
0. Perry Sarle, Consulting Engineer, Providence, R.I.
George C. Shedd, Consulting Engineer, wlanchester, N. H.
Philip Shutler, Associate Consultant, State Planning Board,

Montpelier, Vt.
Gen. Sanford H. Wadhams , Director, State Water Commission,

Hartford, Conn.
Arthur D. Weston, Chief Engineer, State Dept. of Public Health,

Boston, J'/iass.



Federal Representativeg

Robert H. Barclay, Regional Director, Federal Power Commission,

New York City, N. Y.
C. E. Eehre, Director, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station.

U. S. Forest Service, New -Haven, Conn.
B. L. Hadley, Supervisor, Acadia National Park, U. S. Park Service,

Bar Harbor, Lie.
Lt. Col. A. K. B. Lyman, District Engineer, Corps of Engineers,

Boston, Mass.
A. P. Miller, Sanitary Engineer,' U. S. Public Health Service,

New York -Cl-ty, N. Y.
II. R. Stackpolo, District Engineer, U. _£.. Geological Survey,
■ Augusta, Me.

Water 'Consultant

H. K. Barrows, S Beacon St., Boston, Mass.

Regional Cliairman

Victor M. Cutter, National Resources Committee, Region One,
2100 Federal Building, Boston, Mass.

Regional. Counselor

Joseph T. Woodruff , -National Resources Committee, Region One,
2100 Federal Building, Boston, Mass.



vi

MEMBERS OF JOINT STATE - FEDERAL BASIN COMITTEES

II. CENTRAL NEW ENGLAND DRAINAGE BASINS



State and Local Representatives

New Hampshire

Frederick P. Clark, Planning Director, State Planning and

Development Commission, Concord, N. H.
Major John Jacobson, Jr., Chairman, Water Resources Board,

Concord, N. H.
Capt. James ::. Langley, Chairman, State Planning and

Development Commission, Concord, N. H.

Vermont

Ralph E. Flanders, State Planning Board, Springfield.
Louis B. Puffer, prof, of Civil Engineering, University of
Vermont, Burlington.

Massachusett s

Arthur W. Dean, Chief Engineer, State Planning Board, Boston.
Elisabeth M. Herlihy, Chairman, State Planning Board, Boston.

Rhode Island

John H. Cady, Consultant, State Planning Board, Providence.

Connecticut



Warren J. Scott, Sanitary Engineer, State Department of Health,

Hartford.
Alfred H, Terry, Consiilting Engineer, Hartford.

New Yo.rK

Edward H. Sargent, Chief Engineer, Hudson I^-Sver Regulating
District, Albany.

Members, Water Resources Committee, New E^^gland Regional Planning Com .
Sidney S. Anthony, Engineer and Superintendent, Augusta Water

District, Augusta, Me.
H. K. Barrows, Consulting Engineer, Boston, Mass.
James L. Bryne, Hydraulic Engineer, Damariscotta, Me.
Perry H. Merrill, State Forester, Montpelier, Vt.
0. Perry Sarle, Consulting Engineer, Providence, K. I.
George C. Shedd, Consulting Engineer, Manchester, N. H.
Philip Shutler, Associate Consultant, State Planning Board,

Montpelier, Vt.
Gen. Sanford H. Wadharas, Director, State Water Commission,

Hartford, Conn.
Arthur D. Weston, Chief Engineer, State Dept. of Public Health,

Boston, Mass,



vii



Federal Representatives

Robert H. Barclay, Regional Director, Federal Power Commission,

New York City.
C. E. Behre, Director, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station,

U. S. Forest Service, New Haven, Conn.
B. L. Hadley, Supervisor, Acadia National Park, National Park

Service, Bar Harbor, Me.
H. B. Kinnison, District Engineer, U. S. Geological Survey,

Boston, Mass.
Lt. Col. A. K. B. Lyman, District Engineer, U. S. Corps of Engineers

Boston, Mass.
A. P. Miller, Sanitary Engineer, IT. S. Public Health Service,

New York City.

Water Consultant

H. T. Critchlow, 28 West State St., Trenton, N. J.

Regional Cha irman

Victor k. Cutter, National Resources Committee, Region One,
2100 iederal Building, Boston, Mass.

Regional Coi in nei o£

Joseph T. Woodruff, National Resources Committee, Region One,
2100 Federal Building, Boston, Mass.



LIST OF INDIVIDUALS OTHEE THAN COMITTEE METERS
ASSISTING IN REVISION OF WATER RESOURCES REPORT

I. MAINE DRAINAGE BASINS



Emerich Jony, Regional Office, Federal Power Commission, New York City.
Kenneth L. Roberts, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station,

U. S. Forest Service, New Haven, Conn.
Bertrand E. Smith, Regional Director, U. S. Biological Survey, Portland, Me.
Capt. James H. Stratton, Boston Office, U. S. Corps of Engineers.

Dr. Elmer W. Campbell, Director, Division of Sanitary Engineering,

Dept, of Health and Welfare, Augusta, Me,
Frederick P. Clark, Planning Director, State Planning and Development

Commission, Concord, N. H.
Dr. Charles D. Howard, Chemist, State Board of Health, Concord, N. H.
Capt. James H. Langley, Chairman-., State Planning and Development

Commission, Concord, N, H,
William A. Liddell, formerly Principal Assistant to the Water Consultant,

Region One, National Resources Committee.
Alfred Mulliken, formerly Associate Consultant, Maine State Planning

Board, Augusta, Me.
Howard H. Potter, Hydraulic Engineer, Public Utilities Commission,^

Augusta, Me.
Dr. H. B. Peirson, State Entomologist, Augusta, Me.



II. CENTRAL NEW ENGLAND DRAINAGE BASINS



B. L. Bigwood, District Engineer, U. S. Geological Survey, Hartford, Conn.
Lt. Col. J. S. Bragdon, District Engineer, U. S. Corps of Engineers,

Providence, R. I.
Emerich Jony, Regional Office, Federal Power Com.risflion, New York City.
Kenneth L. Roberts, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, U. S. Forest

Service, New Haven, Conn.
Bertrand E. Smith, Regional Director, U. S. Biological Survey, Portland, Me.
Capt. James K. Stratton, Regional Office, Corps of Engineers, Boston, Mass.
Capt. R. A. York, Regional Office, Corps of Engineers, Providence, R. I.

F. Perry Close, formerly Director, State Planning Board, Hartford, Conn.

Elmer Coburn, Project Manager, State Planning Project, Hartford, Conn.

Dr. Charles Dalton, M.D. , Secretary and Executive Officer, State Department

of Public Health, Burlington, Vt.
Richard K. Hale, Associate Commissioner, State Department of Public Works,

Boston, Mass.
Dr. Charles D. Howard, Chemist, State Board of Health, Concord, N. H.
William A. Liddell, formerly Principal Assistant to the Water Resources
Consultant^ National Resources Committee, Region One,



TABLE OP CONTENTS



Page



Introduction 1

Tatle I - Summary of Pertinent Information 5

Table II - Watersheds and Stream Gaging Stations 6

Map #2 - Watersheds and Gaging Stations 7

Map #3 ~ Average Annual Temperatiu-es 9

Map #U - Average Anniial Precipitation 11

Map #5 - Mean Annual Stream Plow I3

Map #6 - Di.stribution 01 Population I5

Map #7 •• Population Growth I7

Key Map - Maine Eiver Basins 20

Maine River Baoins 21

St. Jolm Pasin 29

St. Croix Basin 3g

Eastern Maine Coastal Easius 43

Penobscoi Basin 50

Central Maine Coastal Bacins 63

Kennehec Basin gg

Androscoggin Ba&in gl

Presunpscot Basin 92

Saco Basin 99

Piscataqua. Basin lOg

Maine-New Hampshire Coastal Basins II5

Key Map - Merrimack Basin ll+Ij.

Merrimack Basin II15

Key Map - Massachusetts Coastal Basins 19g

Massachusetts Coastal Basins 199

Key Map - Thanes-Blacks tone-Taunton Basins 232

Thames-Blackstone-Taunton Basins 233

Thames River Basin 2^-1

Elackstone River Basin . . . ' 256

Taunton River Ba.sin 2o2

Narragansett Bay-Eastern Connecticut Coastal Basins 276

Key Map - Connecticut Basin 3O2

Connecticut Basin '. 3O3

Key Map - Hoasatonic Hudson Basins 372

Housatonic Basin 373

"ffestern Connecticut Coastal Basins .... 392

Hudson River Tributaries . 399

Key Map - St. Lawrence Tributaries • • . hzk

St. Lav?renoe Tributaries !+25

Sources of Information I165



TABLES AND MAPS



Maine Merr. Mass. C. T-P-T Conn. H-H St. Law
Basins Basin Basins Basins Basin Basins Tribs.



Table III - Stream Flow
















Records


121


185


219


283


353


U09


U5U


Table I? - Domestic and
















Industrial Wastes


12)4


1S.7


220


289


356


411


U55


Table V - Water Suoply
















Systems


129'


190


223


292


360


i+lU


Il5S


Table VI - Existing Water
















Power


lit


■ 195


229


29s


368


U20


ktk


Table VII - Existing Storage


196




299


3b9


1+21


Map VIII- Sewage and Pollu-
















tion


2^


155


207


235


315


381


U33


Map IX - Water Supply


2^


161


211


237


319


385


U37


MaiD X - Miscellaneous
















Projects


27


175


215


239


3^7


329


kkl


PROFILES












Pai


^



1 - Penobscot River . . '

2 - Kennebec River

3 - Androscoggin River

k - Saco River

5 - Merrimack River

6 - Thames River

7 - Connecticut River (two parts)

8 - Otter Creek

9 - Winooski River

10 - Lamoille River

11 - Missisquoi River ......



CHARTS



1
2

3

k

5
6
7
8
9

10
11
12

II

15



Hydrographs :

Hydro graphs :

Hydrograpns :

Hydrographs :

Hydro graph:

Record of Annual Maxiraom

Maximum Flows by Months:



St. Jolin and St. Croix rivers

Union and Machias rivers

Penobscot, Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers
Piscataqua, Saco and Presumpscot rivers . .

Merrimack River

Flow: Merrimack River

Merrimack River



Flood Hydrograph, 1927: Merrimack River , .
Flood Hydrograph, 1935: Merrimack River . .
Hydrographs: Thames, Slacks tone and Taunton

Hydrograph: Connocticut River .' .'

Flood Hydrograph, 1927: Connecticut River .
Flood Hydrograph, 193°: Connocticut River
Hydrographs: Housatonic and Hudson rivers
Hydrographs: St. Lavirronce Tributaries . . .



35
35
51

?^
11+7
165
165
169
171
2I+9
305
329
333
375
U29



IITTRODrJCTlOW



Study of the Water Heson.rces of New England is an important
phase in the formulation of a Regional Plan for this great
area involving six states — covering more than sixty
thousand square miles.

Tne Basic Regional Plan for New England includes:

1. A plan for a coordinated system of all forms
of transportation;

2. A plan for the conservation and development
of water resources;

3. A program for land utilization according to
modern methods and pructices;

4. A program for conservation of forests and
wild] ife;

5. A program for development of recreational
facilities, includirig, among others, inter-
state reservations, parkways, foot and
hridle trails;

6. A draft of the legislation necessary to
effective exec^xtion of the plans formulated;

7. Economic, social, anS related studies dealing
with such subjects, like po-oulation, industry,
and housing, as are essential to the formula-
tion of the "basic Regional Plan.

Three of the most important river systems of New Enrland —
the Connecticut, Merrimack anr^ Blackstone — have in their
drainage basins more than 31.P-fo of the populati-jn of the
region, 30.4^ of the manufactn.ring, and a large percentage
of the productive agricultural land. They constitute the
source of 51.2^ of the wattr power generated in New England.
Through these same valleys are transported millions of
dollars' worth of the products of agriculture and industry -
raw materials and finished goods — on main line railroads
and highways. The bottom lands of the major streams in
the region are at once those areas through which the very
lifsblood of the region flows, and in which the very life
of the region exists. Water is basically essential to
life. Being precio\is, its use should be understood and
conserved so that it will be of th^ highest benefit to
those whom it serves. The flow of water knows no political
boundaries, no state lines. Those who live and work on
the lower reaches of a great river basin are entitled to
the use of the normal flow of the :7ater unimpaired as to
quantity and quality. There is no special right of a
people on the unper reaches of a river to pollute the
water that is to flow past the peopD.e on the banks below.
Industry that uses water for procesring has a right to
have clean water for its nur;'-i03es, and in turn has an
obligation to return that water to the streanj in fit
condition for use by a neighbor industry doTmstream.



In this region where recreation and the allied industries
that fui-nish accessories to recreation have assijuied so gr-^at
importance, the recreational values lying dormant in the great
stream areas and on the ocean and lake shores of New England
should be recognized and reclaimed. In the three major inter-
state stream valleys alone, a high degree of pollution has
rendered great stretches of the rivers and their barJcs unde-
sirable for human habitation, much less for any type of recre-
ational use. In all the major valleys floods have cost hun-
dreds of millions of dollars in property, soil, and time lost.
The gradual control of these floods through construction of
detention, flood control, water supply or power reservoirs on
the upper reaches of the streams, through removal of channel
obstructions, and through building of dykes and levees, and
the control of erosion through intelligent planting and har-
vesting of timber and other crops, constitute a problem of-
fering a CHALLENGE TO THE FORESIGHT OE THE NET7 EIJGLAKI) PEOPLE
AlID TO THEIR ABILITY TO COOPERATE ON MATTERS OP COlvCvION ECONOMIC
AND SOCIAL INTEREST.

That the determination of the best social and economic uses of
the water resources of New England is a regional problem is ob-
vious; similarly, no plan for construction of reservoirs can
be made that does not influence the location or relocation of
some form of transportation service, some kind of property use
in which there is an economic interest, — farms, industries,
dairies, or homes. The compact settlement of New England, plus
the interrelation of the flow lines of industry, transportation,
trade and recreation with the flow lines of water, increases
the complexity of this regional problem.

Shortly after the formation of the New England Regional Planning
Commission, the Chairman appointed a Water Resources Committee
to indicate the basic information needed and to formulate the
water policy of the Commission. This Committee (by way of co-
operating with the P.W.A. state engineers) examined and classi-
fied Public Works projects relating to water resources; recom-
mended a modified form of the bill submitted by Representative
William M. Citron of Connecticut which provides for Fed-:.-ral
enabling legislation to permit the forming of interstate
compacts; drew up forms for interstate compacts for the develop-
ment of water resources in the Connecticut, Merrimack and
Blackstone Rivers basins; drafted a plan of proced.ure for
conducting investigations in the Connecticut River valley.
The Commission has prepared a bibliography of interstate water
resources information, and has made it available to State
health engineers and others concerned with water resources
problems.

Long before the flood of I936 the Conuission had prepared
River Basin Maps and studies and had assembled bibliographies
of available material that had been compiled from time to time
by many competent authorities on various phases of water problems.



Before the Commission made its studies of the Connecticut, Merri-
mack and Blackstone Valleys, only the Army Engineers had treated
the problems of interstate streams as hasin problems. The "3O8"
Reports submitted to Congress by the Secretary of War were the
only comprehensive studies of the major interstate streams in
New England. However, the recommendations of these reports
dealt only with flood control and navigation yroble;ns, and in-
cluded only those potential developments of an interstate
nature which the Army Engineers considered of sufficient im-
portance to be carried out by the Federal G-overnment.

Data and studies of basic importance have been assembled by
the Geological £-arvey, the Weather Bureau, and by numerous
private and semi-public agencies. This material has been di-
gested and correlated, and with the cooperation of the Water
Resources Committee a program for the assenbly of needed in-
formation has bean drafted. This sar:e schedule has been of
use in setting up, with trie cooperation of the W.P.A. , data-
collecting projects in several states.

Floods causing fully $100,000,000 damage struck Few England in
March, I930. The Commission, through news releases and public
addresses by the Chairman and Consultant, immediately called
public attention to the regional character of the control
problem, and was ready "vTith s'.iggested for.as for interstate
compacts, as prenared by the TTater Resources Counittee of the
Nev/ England Regional Planning Commission in Ai^-gust, 1935' By
June, 1936 all four states on the Connecticut River had created
agencies for the purpose of a;^reeing on a form of compact for
the control of floods ar.d the allocation of costs. On March ?,
1937 Secretary of War Woodring and General Markhan, Chief of
the Army Engineers, called the- Governors of Hew Hanpshire, Ver-
mont, Massacnusetts and Connecticut together at Hartford,
Connecticut, and urged them to cone to an early conclusion on
an interstate agreement. On March I6 — but eight days after
the Hartford conference — the compact connittee* came to an
agreement.

On July 6, 1937 representatives of Kew Hampshire, Vermont, Massa-
chusetts and Connecticut met in the State House in Boston,
signed the coupacts for both the Connecticut and Merrimack
Rivers and forwarded the seme to Congress for ratification-
Resolutions for Congressional ratification were approved by the
Commei-ce Committee of the Senate and by the Flood Control Cod-
raittee of the House, but had not been acted upon by Congress up
to December 1, 1537 •

The New England Regional Planning Commission and its Water Re-
sources Conmittes and Staff have, we believe, stimulated and
aroused public interest in and understanding of the comprehensive
and regional character of water problems in New England; have
instigated the collection of existing and needed information on
the subject; and have brought together, for a determination of

* See foot note on following page.



regional policy, the representatives of the several states at
a stage early enough to have had an important effect on the
dispatch with which interstate compacts were completed and
ratified by the respective legislatiires.

The making of a plan for the Kew England region is a long-term
effort involving the collection and interpretation by competent
authorities of a vast amount of data on all interrelated sub-
jects and, what is even more important, involving the cooperation
of local, state, and Federal agencies with private business,
industrial, and transportation agencies.

The accomplishments of the Kew '_agland EC:^ional Planning Com-
mission have been made possible by the cooperation of the
several State Planning Boards through their Chairmen. By con-
tinuously studying the needs of the Region in the light of
changing social and economic conditions, and by constantly
balancing these needs in terras of a comprehensive plan, there
has been prepared a long-term, yet flexible, plan for the
Region. This process sho-old be followed consistently and
continually. Such a plan, \?ith revision and approval by
representatives of all the states, can record at any given
time the best coordinated judgment of authorities on specific
problems in many fields. Tlius, there can always be a PlaJi
for New England. The degree to which it is effective is the
degree to which it is understood and the extent of the coop-
eration which is achieved in its constant interpretation and
modification.

The following report on the ^ater Resources of New England is
an important addition to the data on one phase of the New Eng-
land Regional Plan. These data and the proposals contained in
this report are being studied in connection with the data on
and proposals for the solution of recreational, transportation,
industrial, social and economic problems. Thus they contribute
to the refinement and improvement of the PLAN FOR NEW ENc^LAlTO.

*New Hampshire: Major John Jacobson, Jr., Chairman Water Re-
sources Board
Richard S. Holmgren, Chief Engineer, Water Re-
sources Board
Robert ¥. Upton, Attorney

Vermont: Ralph E. Flanders, Chairman, Flood Compact Board
Walter S. Pent on. Attorney
Philip Shutler, Associate Consultant, State
Planning Board

Massachusetts: Elisabeth M. Herlihy, Chairman, State Planning
Board
William F. Callahan, Commissioner of Public Works
Pa\il A. Dever, Attorney General.

Connecticut: Edward J. Daly, Attorney General
James A. lie-*? lands , Engineer
Sanford H. Wadhams , Director, State Water
Commission



^11



^ S



II






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^11 ^"



s s



I SI



" 8 S



S 55 -5



g. 3



O rH O



I I g



^ s






TABLE II

TATEH SiffiDS AND STREAM GAGING STATIONS

TO ACCOMPAinr MAP #2



St. John E. Basin

1. S-.. John R., Fort Kent, Ke.

2. Allagash H. , Allagash, Me.

3. Fish E. , Fort Kent, lie.

4. Aroostook R. , Tashburn. Me.
St. Croix R. Basin

5. St. Croix fl. , Vanceboro, Me.

6. St. Croix E., Baile/vil]e. lie.

7. Grand Lake Stream, Grand Lake



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