Home > Newsroom > News Releases > DRBC Announces Flood Analysis Model Status Update
DRBC Announces Flood Analysis Model Status Update

For Immediate Release

May 5, 2009

(WEST TRENTON, N.J.) -- Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Executive Director Carol R. Collier today announced that the flood analysis model being developed by an interagency team led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is now expected to be available sometime this summer.

“The USGS and its two federal partners are adapting existing model applications to develop the flood analysis model for the DRBC,” Collier said. “While all three agencies are well-versed in the use of these types of models, it is proving to be more time intensive than originally expected to represent multiple watersheds and reservoirs, each with unique characteristics, for a river system as large and diverse as the Delaware. The agencies understand the need to deliver the model as soon as possible, but this is a complex undertaking and our foremost goal is to produce a modeling tool that is scientifically sound.”

The USGS is the lead agency working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center (USACE - HEC) and the National Weather Service (NWS) to develop the model for DRBC. The model’s components include rainfall runoff, localized hydrologic conditions, and snow pack.

When completed, this tool will help the DRBC (a five-member agency comprised of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York State, and the federal government) and the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decree parties (the four basin states and New York City) to evaluate the potential impacts that different initial storage levels at 15 major reservoirs would have had on flooding at forecast points located downstream for the three storm events experienced in September 2004, April 2005, and June 2006. Model results will be among the many considerations that inform future reservoir management and policy decisions focusing on competing water storage demands in the basin.

Work on the flood analysis model began in August 2007 with $500,000 provided by the four basin state governors. Additional funds and in-kind services from USGS, NWS, and the USACE have totaled $285,000. It was among the 45 recommendations identified by the Delaware River Basin Interstate Flood Mitigation Task Force, formed at the request of the four governors, in its July 2007 action agenda for a more proactive, sustainable, and systematic approach to flood damage reduction.

The DRBC was created by compact in 1961 through legislation signed into law by President John F. Kennedy and the governors of the four basin states with land draining to the Delaware River. The passage of this compact marked the first time in our nation’s history that the federal government and a group of states joined together as equal partners in a river basin planning, development, and regulatory agency.

Additional information can be found on the commission’s web site at www.drbc.net.


Contact: Clarke Rupert, DRBC, 609-883-9500 ext. 260, clarke.rupert@drbc.state.nj.us