Water withdrawals from streams to supply snowmaking :two case studies of Sugarbush and Loon

Smith, Corinne A.
Alexandra Dawson
Department of Environmental Studies
This paper focuses on the water resource conflict created between the desire by ski areas to withdraw water from streams and to make artificial snow and the desire to leave enough water in streams to protect aquatic organisms. The paper reviews the history and current use of snowmaking, the history and current status of stream water use in New England, the policies designed to leave enough water in streams to protect aquatic organisms, the various permits required before water withdrawals from streams for snowmaking can take place, and the issues brought up during selected permit processes for Sugarbush and Loon ski areas surrounding what is the proper wintertime minimum stream flow. As well, issues related to what is the appropriate minimum stream flow and the larger picture of water use in New England are discussed.

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