Reservoirs in the DRB
DRBC Basin-Wide Reservoir Storage Study

Reservoir Storage Study Initiated April 2021

In April 2021, DRBC announced the beginning of a study to explore the feasibility of additional freshwater storage to meet future water availability, climate adaptation, drought management and flow management needs in the Delaware River Basin.

Mott MacDonald was selected through a competitive process to perform the required planning and engineering services to support DRBC staff.

Funding for this study, which will take about 18 months, comes from the Commission's Water Supply Storage Facilities Fund.

View News Release (issued April 14, 2021)

Updates on the study will be provided via the DRBC's Water Management Advisory Committee.

DRBC Authority

Section 3.6 of the Delaware River Basin Compact authorizes the Commission to:

Conduct and sponsor research on water resources, their planning, use, conservation, management, development, control and protection, and the capacity, adaptability and best utility of each facility thereof, and collect, compile, correlate, analyze, report and interpret data on water resources and uses in the basin, including without limitation thereto the relation of water to other resources, industrial water technology, ground water movement, relation between water price and water demand, and general hydrological conditions.

Storage Study Objectives

Identify, inventory and evaluate the feasibility of options that could provide the following additional usable storage:

  • A minimum of 1 billion gallons (BG)

  • A minimum of 5 BG

  • A minimum of 10 BG

  • A minimum of 20 BG

The storage volumes can be met by a combination of projects/sources.

Storage Study Approach 

Develop a matrix to use to evaluate storage options. Evaluation metrics to include: feasibility; geographic considerations; regional benefits; temporal considerations; and volume.

  • Storage Projects to be Considered:

    • Storage projects previously identified (see RFP, linked below)

    • Existing mines and quarries in the basin

    • Existing excess storage considered potentially available for acquisition by owner

    • New project storage concepts not previously identified

  • Storage Projects Not to be Considered:

    • F.E. Walter Reservoir (outside study ongoing by the USACE)

    • Tocks Island Reservoir or any other mainstem Delaware River dam
    • Maiden Creek Reservoir (Maiden Creek upstream of Lake Ontelaunee, Berks County)

    • Trexler Reservoir (Jordan Creek, Lehigh County)

    • Hawk Mountain (East Branch Delaware River below Pepacton Reservoir)

    • New York City Delaware Basin Reservoirs (exception: review of the feasibility of the expansion of one or more of the three reservoirs can be considered)

The DRBC has not made a determination of the need for additional storage within the basin. The study is a planning level inventory of potential options that would be available if the DRBC determines that additional storage is needed in the future.

More information can be found in the RFP, linked below.

Additional Resources