Summary of hydrologic modeling for the Delaware River Basin using the Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER)

Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5143
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER) is a decision support system for the nontidal part of the Delaware River Basin that provides a consistent and objective method of simulating streamflow under historical, forecasted, and managed conditions. In order to quantify the uncertainty associated with these simulations, however, streamflow and the associated hydroclimatic variables of potential evapotranspiration, actual evapotranspiration, and snow accumulation and snowmelt must be simulated and compared to long-term, daily observations from sites. This report details model development and optimization, statistical evaluation of simulations for 57 basins ranging from 2 to 930 km2 and 11.0 to 99.5 percent forested cover, and how this statistical evaluation of daily streamflow relates to simulating environmental changes and management decisions that are best examined at monthly time steps normalized over multiple decades. The decision support system provides a database of historical spatial and climatic data for simulating streamflow for 2001–11, in addition to land-cover and general circulation model forecasts that focus on 2030 and 2060. WATER integrates geospatial sampling of landscape characteristics, including topographic and soil properties, with a regionally calibrated hillslope-hydrology model, an impervious-surface model, and hydroclimatic models that were parameterized by using three hydrologic response units: forested, agricultural, and developed land cover. This integration enables the regional hydrologic modeling approach used in WATER without requiring site-specific optimization or those stationary conditions inferred when using a statistical model.

Suggested Citation

Williamson, T.N., Lant, J.G., Claggett, P.R., Nystrom, E.A., Milly, P.C.D., Nelson, H.L., Hoffman, S.A., Colarullo, S.J., and Fischer, J.M., 2015, Summary of hydrologic modeling for the Delaware River Basin using the Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5143, 68 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155143.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Data Sources and Processing of Data for WATER
  • Evaluating Uncertainty for Scenario Testing
  • Model Development, Statistical Evaluation, and Validation of Hydroclimatic Components  of WATER
  • Statistical Evaluation, Validation, and Uncertainty of Streamflow Simulated by Using  WATER
  • Summary
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Summary of hydrologic modeling for the Delaware River Basin using the Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER)
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2015-5143
DOI 10.3133/sir20155143
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Kentucky Water Science Center
Description xi, 68 p.
Country United States
State Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
City Philadelphia, Trenton, Wilmington
Other Geospatial Delaware River Basin
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y