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New Jersey Water Science Center
Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J.
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Water Budget and Groundwater Availability Analysis for the Coastal Plain Part of the Delaware River Basin
Project Title: Water Budget and Groundwater Availability Analysis for the Coastal Plain Part of the Delaware River Basin
The objective of this project is to develop a GIS-based water-budget and water availability methodology for assessment of water supply and for use in the evaluation of allocation policy for the Delaware River Basin's watersheds. This methodology will be applicable to all of the basin's watersheds and be designed for interactive retrieval by potential users via the Internet.
Statement of Problem
One of the key elements of water-resources planning is a systematic approach for evaluating existing and future water withdrawals against available water supplies and environmental requirements. For the KRA "Manage the quantity and quality of the water resources of the Delaware River Basin for sustainable use," objective 1A is to " establish water budgets for all Delaware River Basin watersheds at the appropriate geographic scale (e.g., 80 to 100 square miles or smaller if needed/desired)" Many of the other goals and objectives in the draft goals document depend upon successful completion of this key task. The two major components of water allocation include the development of measurable water-supply and water-use data, sometimes referred to as the water budget, and allocation policy, such as withdrawal limits. Development of the policy generally entails assessment of the status of the water-supply and water-use conditions within watersheds, as well as the comparison of the impacts of various allocation policies on both water allocation and environmental conditions.
Strategy and Approach
For areas underlain by fractured crystalline rocks, three prototype watersheds will be chosen: (1) a rural watershed, (2) an urban watershed, and (3) a watershed with reservoir storage. For areas underlain by coastal plain sediments, two prototype watersheds will be chosen: (1) a rural watershed, and (2) and urban watershed. For each of the five watersheds, available recent withdrawal, discharge, import, and export data will be incorporated into the database. Example comparisons will be made between withdrawals and withdrawal limits using alternative withdrawal limit scenarios to be determined in consultation with the DRBC staff and the Water Management Advisory Committee. Based on this work, a report detailing the recommended water budget methodology will be prepared. The costs of application on both a prorated and basin-wide level will be addressed in a separate project proposal. The report also will provide recommendations on watershed scale as it applies to water allocation decisions and will cover in detail the design of the required database for the water budgets. All products will be prepared for Internet display.
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