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Estimated ground-water availability in the Delaware River basin, 1997-2000

Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5125

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Abstract

Ground-water availability using a watershed-based approach was estimated for the 147 watersheds that make up the Delaware River Basin. This study, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), supports the DRBC's Water Resources Plan for the Delaware River Basin. Different procedures were used to estimate ground-water availability for the region underlain by fractured rocks in the upper part of the basin and for surficial aquifers in the region underlain by unconsolidated sediments in the lower part of the basin. The methodology is similar to that used for the Delaware River Basin Commission's Ground-Water Protected Area in Pennsylvania. For all watersheds, ground-water availability was equated to average annual base flow. Ground-water availability for the 109 watersheds underlain by fractured rocks in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania was based on lithology and physiographic province. Lithology was generalized by grouping 183 geologic units into 14 categories on the basis of rock type and physiographic province. Twenty-three index streamflow-gaging stations were selected to represent the 14 categories. A base-flow-recurrence analysis was used to determine the average annual 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, and 50-year-recurrence intervals for each index station. A GIS analysis used lithology and base flow at the index stations to determine the average annual base flow for the 109 watersheds. Average annual base flow for these watersheds ranged from 0.313 to 0.915 million gallons per day per square mile for the 2-year-recurrence interval to 0.150 to 0.505 million gallons per day per square mile for the 50-year-recurrence interval. Ground-water availability for watersheds underlain by unconsolidated surficial aquifers was based on predominant surficial geology and land use, which were determined from statistical tests to be the most significant controlling factors of base flow. Twenty-one index streamflow-gaging stations were selected to represent the 13 categories of predominant surficial geology and land use for the 38 Coastal Plain watersheds. A base-flow-recurrence analysis was used to determine the average annual 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, and 50-year-recurrence intervals for each group of predominant surficial geology and land use. Average annual base flow for these watersheds ranged from 0.465 to 1.169 million gallons per day per square mile for the 2-year-recurrence interval to 0.178 to 0.670 million gallons per day per square mile for the 50-year-recurrence interval. Estimated 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, and 50-year annual base-flow-recurrence interval values for each watershed in the Delaware River Basin are considered to be the quantity of ground water available for each watershed over a range of climatic conditions. The recurrence intervals are considered to be relative indicators of climatic difference; the 2-year-recurrence value represents wetter years, and the 50-year-recurrence value represents drier years. The remaining available ground water in each watershed was determined by subtracting current (1997-2000) ground-water withdrawals and consumptive domestic use and adding water recharged by agricultural irrigation and land application of treated-sewage effluent. Ground-water use ranged from 0 to 60.8 percent of available ground water for the 2-year-recurrence interval; it exceeded 25 percent in four watersheds and 50 percent in two watersheds. Ground-water use ranged from 0 to 75.9 percent of available ground water for the 5-year-recurrence interval; it exceeded 25 percent in five watersheds and 50 percent in three watersheds. Ground-water use ranged from 0 to 84.5 percent of available ground water for the 10-year-recurrence interval; it exceeded 25 percent in seven watersheds and 50 percent in four watersheds. Ground-water use ranged from 0 to 103 percent of available ground water for the 25-year-recurrence interval; it exceeded 25 percent in nine watersheds, 5

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Estimated ground-water availability in the Delaware River basin, 1997-2000
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2006-5125
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2006
Language:
ENGLISH
Contributing office(s):
Pennsylvania Water Science Center
Description:
viii, 67 p.
Number of Pages:
75
Time Range Start:
1997-01-01
Time Range End:
2000-12-31