Water Usage in the Seneca Nation

Jun 10, 2013 Environment

A key environment initiative of P32 is to promote the sustainable use and conservation of the region's water. To do this, we created the Ohio River Headwaters Resource Committee at Carnegie Mellon to promote policies and resources to protect our region's water. The Committee is in conversation with the Fish and Wildlife Department of The Allegany Territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians (SNI) to make sure that their interests are considered as the HRC advises ORSANCO (Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission) about the sources and uses of water in the headwaters.

The Allegany Territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians (SNI) is located at the upper most reach of the headwaters of the Ohio River. Salamanca City (New York) comprises most of the Territory and is located up stream of the Kinzua Dam (Pennsylvania). Nearly one-third of the land area in the Territory is covered with water when the reservoir behind the dam is at its highest level. The level of the reservoir is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers based on pre-established drawdown dates. Water level is also impacted by First Energy's operation of the hydroelectric plant on the dam. There are few intakes (primarily drinking water) and discharges (waste water and storm water) in the Territory. The primary use of the water is recreation and sport fishing, both of which require a SNI-issued license.