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Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J

Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J.




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Flow Characteristics and Basis for Ecological Flow Goals of New Jersey

Project Title: NJ192 - Flow Characteristics and Basis for Ecological Flow Goals of New Jersey
Project Number: 2454AAI
Project Chief:
Project Start Date: 01-FEB-2001
Project End Date: 30-SEP-2007

Project Objectives

The overall objective of this project is to evaluate the stream gage data collected from the cooperative New Jersey gage network and provide streamflow statistics that will update and enhance the 1982 report. The specific study objectives are:

  1. Develop GIS coverage of all past and present gaging stations.
  2. Develop statistics including trend analysis on different flow regimes to characterize streamflow.
  3. Analyze key index stations (low anthropogenic impacts) and 3 to 5 long-term rain gages to determine climate impacts.
  4. Develop the basis for developing streamflow criteria that are protective of aquatic organisms and related habitats.

Statement of Problem

Since streamflow can be influenced by both human activities and climate changes, it is important for the watershed planning process that the NJDEP has initiated to be able to quantify the reasons for any trends in flow in order to develop the best water resource management strategies to deal with any negative impacts related to changes in flow characteristics of a watershed. The USGS New Jersey District last published a statewide "Low-Flow Characteristics and Flow Duration of New Jersey Streams" report in 1982. Since that time, the District has provided upon request site-specific flow information. To meet the watershed planning and regulatory needs of the NJDEP, an update and enhancement of the 1982 report (Open-file Report 81-1110) is needed.

Strategy and Approach

The approach is: To develop a GIS coverage of all past and present streamflow gaging and water quality stations including attributes, statistical analysis to characterize flow which will provide information that will update the 1982 low-flow report and provide additional analysis of high and low flow-trends, analyze the relation of observed changes in streamflow characteristics to changes in precipitation for 3 to 5 index stations, develop basis for setting stream flow requirements to meet ecological needs.


SIR 2005-5105 Streamflow characteristics and trends in New Jersey, Water years 1897-2003


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