DRBC Modeling Efforts

DRBC develops and applies various models for Basin waters. Examples of models created and utilized by DRBC staff include the following:

  • A real-time flow and transport model, which is run nightly and tracks the movement of water in the tidal Delaware River. If a spill occurs, the most recent model run can be used along with a water quality model to predict where the pollutant will go and what the concentrations will be. This is especially important to protect drinking water intakes in the tidal Delaware River;

  • Models to determine mixing zones for total dissolved solids, toxic pollutants and heat dissipation areas for regulated discharges;

  • Assimilative capacity determinations for a water quality parameter of concern;

  • TMDL development to support Basin states and the U.S. EPA; and

  • No Measurable Change evaluations for dischargers in Special Protection Waters.

DRBC utilizes its DRB-PST Model for flow management to study salinity intrusion and support decree party negotiations.

For water supply planning, DRBC is developing a hydrologic watershed model to evaluate water stressors such as growth of population centers, the effects of land-use change, water use, and the effects of climate variability and climate change on water resources in the basin.

In the Delaware Estuary, under the guidance of the Eutrophication Model Expert Panel, DRBC is developing an eutrophication model to develop feasible scenarios of controlling nutrients loads into Delaware River Estuary and Bay in order to achieve higher dissolved oxygen concentrations. Completion and calibration of this model will ultimately allow assessment of the attainability of wasteload allocations that will support the adoption of revised designated uses and associated dissolved oxygen criteria, and nutrient criteria, if needed. Learn more about DRBC's Aquatic Life Designated Use Study.

DRBC Modeling Reports