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NWS and Basin Management = Perfect Together!. Carol R. Collier, P.P., AICP Executive Director Delaware River Basin Commission April 19, 2010. Value of the NWS. Nationally - based on the National Collaborative Water Resources Conferences DRBC – Past and Future.

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Nws and basin management perfect together

NWS and Basin Management = Perfect Together!

Carol R. Collier, P.P., AICP

Executive Director

Delaware River Basin Commission

April 19, 2010

Value of the nws
Value of the NWS

  • Nationally - based on the National Collaborative Water Resources Conferences

  • DRBC – Past and Future

National observations common needs for statewide planning
National Observations:Common needs for statewide planning

Desire Comprehensive planning

Seek Conflict resolution

Need Data & info

Desire Disaster planning

Lack of funding

Lack climate info

Need technical assistance



Lack data/info

Need models,


Lack funding

Seek alternative

water supplies

Lack funding







Delaware river watershed facts
Delaware River Watershed Facts

  • 16 million people (about 5% of the U.S. population) rely on the waters of the basin

  • Drains 13,539 mi² , or 0.4 of 1% of the continental U.S. land area

  • 4 states, 42 counties, 838 municipalities

  • 25 Congressional Districts

Delaware river
Delaware River

Longest Undammed River

East of the Mississippi

330 miles

Nws and basin management perfect together


What is the Connection between the Delaware River and Professional Sports?

Drbc issues
DRBC Issues

  • Water Flows Highly Managed due to 1954 Supreme Court Decree

    • NYC allowed to divert up to 800 mgd out of basin

    • Changing Priorities – Water supply, fisheries, flood mitigation

  • Pollution

    • Major clean up ,but now toxics and emergent contaminants

    • Special Protection Waters

  • Flood of Record – 1955

  • Drought of Record – 1960’s

  • Three Floods – 2004 – 2006

Value of nws to drbc
Value of NWS to DRBC

  • Basic data and AHPS

    • Flood potential, flow augmentation, river monitoring events

  • Always Improving Flood Warning System

  • Reservoir Flood Model – NWS, USGS and USACE

  • Strong Partner and Supporter

Future issues
Future Issues

  • Climate Change

    • Sea Level Rise

    • Increased Storm Intensity

    • Increased Drought Probability

    • Increased Uncertainty

  • Impacts to Sensitive Headwaters

    • Natural Gas Well Drilling

    • Loss of Forest; increased Impervious cover

  • Changing Population Distribution/Water Demand

Nws and basin management perfect together

Sea Level Rise

Global Sea Level Rise

Regional Changes

gravity, ocean currents and ocean density


Global + Regional

0.45 + 0.27 = 0.72m

(2.3 ft)

1.4 + 0.27 = 1.67m

(5.5. ft)


0.5 meter rise

1.0 meter rise

1.5 meter rise

Changes in snowpack and timing of snowmelt
Changes in Snowpack and Timing of Snowmelt

  • There will be less snow in the winter; this affects water supply for many who depend on the melting of snowpack as a water source. The timing of snowmelt may also change, prompting water resource managers to change how water supply reservoirs are managed.

Delaware river basin
Delaware River Basin

Nws and basin management perfect together

Salt Line

(250 mg/l, 7 day avg)

Water Supply Intakes

RM 110

1960’s Maximum

Normal R.M. 77

Data for determination provided by the U.S. Geological Survey and Kimberly Clark Corp.

Operating plans
Operating Plans

New York City Delaware Basin Reservoirs drive the Basin wide Operating Plan.




Two Corps of Engineers Reservoirs drive Lower Basin Operating Plan


Blue Marsh

Merrell Creek Reservoir



Nws and basin management perfect together

Water Intakes at Risk from Drought and Sea Level Rise:

location of the salt line at high tide during drought

  • Power

    • Exelon Delaware Generating Station

    • Exelon Richmond Generating Station

    • Philadelphia Gas Works Richmond

  • Industrial

    • Koch Material Co.

    • NGC Industries

    • Rohm and Haas Philadelphia

    • MacAndrew and Forbes Co.

    • Pennwalt Corporation

    • Sunoco

  • Public Supply

    • Torresdale Water Intake (provides

    • almost 60% of Philadelphia’s water supply)

    • New Jersey American Water Co. Tri-County Water Treatment Plant

Questions and needs
Questions and Needs

  • Will there be adequate water supply?

  • Will we have enough water to push salinity down?

  • Do we need more structural storage for flood mitigation and water supply?

  • How will better stormwater control, LID, riparian buffers improve the system?

  • Need for basin-wide model to test scenarios

  • Probability factors, Range of conditions, Down-scaling

More needs
More Needs

  • Continued improvements to AHPS and nundation mapping

  • A more stable server for AHPS

  • Improved rainfall runoff model

  • Storm surge forecasting for tidal river

Thank you
Thank You!!

  • NWS is one of DRBC’s strongest Partners

  • The management of the basin is dependent on NWS data, models and predictions