Since last spring I have been the lonely boy crying wolf when it comes to the drought drying up the main stem of the Little Lehigh Creek. This past November, the Little Lehigh Creek did indeed dry up in its main stem through Lower Macungie Township. Lets take a step back on why this happened:
1. In 2008 when I served on the LMT Planning Commision board, I fought hard to warn the Commissioners and residents about how not placing monitoring wells along the Little Lehigh Creek when LCA was requesting conditional use approval to take more water out of Wells 8 and 12 would someday cause the Little Lehigh Creek to dry up the stream. I had Aurel Ardnt and LCA engineers say this would not definitely not happen. Guess what--it happened. Who has the degree in hydrology and physical geography and who does not?
2. In 2016, I warned LCA again that this was going to happen along with the Delaware River Basin Commission and PADEP in writing. Again, I was ignored until the stream went dry in November.
3. Lastly, in January I told LCA that unless we miraculously receive 6-8 inches of rain over a three week period or a 20+ inch snow storm with a three inch rain to follow, we are in deep sh*&. I went to their public meeting and presented the facts. They told me they would have another engineer study conducted to look into the situation. How many engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb or in this case watch the Little Lehigh go dry in April?
4. I am writing this post on the warmest day ever recorded in February 77+ degrees. in the Lehigh Valley. We have had two days of 70 degree weather with no rain. The forest litter is dry as hell. I am kicking up dust instead of topsoil. The monitoring well in Breinigsville is falling like a two ton boulder. It is at the same level as it was in September 2016. The Little Lehigh Creek in my backyard is shrinking in width by the day. And what does LCA doing? Reporting on plastics in our waterways. Give me a break. This is a huge deal. Never in the history of LCA have we had as low as watertable in February as we do now.
5. I come to the conclusion that LCA is not going to be proactive in this drought and start warning industrial users to cut back in a public press release. Nor do I see LCA turning off wellhead 8 to retain the low base flow in the Little Lehigh Creek. In November thousands of fish died or were forced further downstream into Allentown.. The Little Lehigh Creek is ruined in sections of the Township for fishing and the Township Commissioners are not publicly stating their concern to LCA. No where to I see a public outcry? This saddens me deeply. If this been a pollution discharge into the stream, the public outcry would be tremendous. Who defends the fish and aquatic life? Sure the hell not LCA.
I hope you can pass this post onto others because in the next few months, its going to get a lot worse. When the stream disappears again, at least you were warned. I am tired of fighting this battle alone and hitting brick walls at LCA public meetings. It would be nice to see the LCA board meeting filled up and overflowing with LMT residents and trout fishermen telling them to stop pumping wellhead 8 until we get normal precip again. One person is just not enough to convince them. I wish as many residents in Sheppard Hills would come and support the Little Lehigh Creek as much as they support a golf course. This stream helps keep your property values high too.