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MEMBER FORUM - 2 Articles
Spring 2007

WATERS Network Projects to Examine Susquehanna River
Submitted by Kevin A. Dressler,
SRBHOS Research Coordinator

A Proposal to Increase Water Storage in the Delaware River Basin
Submitted by Paul DiRenzo, Jr.,
DiRenzo Coal Company

Susquehanna River

WATERS Network Projects to Examine Susquehanna River

A team including researchers from Pennsylvania State University, Drexel University, and Johns Hopkins University received two grants ($630,000; through October 2008) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a test bed focusing on the Susquehanna River Basin and its impact on the Chesapeake Bay. The team’s umbrella project, called the Susquehanna River Basin Hydrologic Observing System (SRBHOS) is part of NSF’s Water and Environmental Research Systems (WATERS) test bed network – there are ten NSF test beds across the United States – and focuses on new data systems and modeling tools to enable improved predictions of the impacts of climate change and human alterations on the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. Partial support for this research is being provided by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) of which Penn State is an active member among 121 national and international institutions.

This and other SRBHOS efforts seek to enhance research on the Susquehanna River Basin and its impacts on the Chesapeake Bay, which encompasses more than 27,000 square miles over Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. The Susquehanna River contributes 50 percent of the fresh water flowing to the Chesapeake Bay as a whole, making it a critical basin to study in the northeast region of the United States. Through these prototyping grants, the SRBHOS team is identifying questions in an effort to establish a larger-scale Susquehanna River/Chesapeake Bay observation network.

The team is working to develop a data and information system consisting of elements such as static geospatial data, time series data (e.g. climate forcing, stream gauge, water use, etc), metadata, and open source modeling tools to increase collaborations among agencies and researchers of the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed region. As such, the SRBHOS team is seeking input on the types of data partners might contribute or ideas they have for modeling sites in the Susquehanna River basin. The SRBHOS team would like to highlight local research and provide access to data resources in an information system developed as part of the national framework for the WATERS Network.

The principal investigators for the two projects include: Christopher Duffy, professor of civil engineering at Penn State; Patrick Reed, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; Kevin Dressler, research associate at Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment; Michael Piasecki, associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Drexel University; and William Ball, professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

For more information, please visit the SRBHOS website at

Additional Links:

Water and Environmental Research Systems (WATERS)
The ten NSF test beds across the United States

A Proposal to Increase Water Storage in the Delaware River Basin


By and through the integration of Anthracite Coal Surface Mining / Reclamation and Earthen Dam Construction…

schematic WHERE?

Blythe Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, at a specific, studied, and fitting site near the very headwaters of the Schuylkill River and the heart of Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Coal Region.


In addition to the proposed site allowing for the integration of the above two earth-moving processes to reduce project costs, the area to be surfaced mined is located at the head of the same valley to be impounded. Essentially every cubic yard of earth, rock, and coal mined would contribute to overall water storage capacity, estimated to be upwards of 10 billion gallons (30,000 acre-feet).


  • Local & Regional Water Supply Augmentation to aid Economic Growth
  • Abandoned mine land / drainage remediation
  • Off stream-impoundment (No loss of free-fl owing river)
  • Local Flood control & Low-fl ow augmentation for the Schuylkill and lower Delaware Rivers
  • Recreation / Wildlife Preserve Potential centered around a mountain lake
  • No confl icting land use (site is presently abandoned mine land and water supply source)
  • Recovery of Anthracite Coal, a proven, clean burning, low-sulfur, and domestic energy source
  • Consistent with many State and Federal Environmental / Economic Initiatives (e.g. Growing Greener, Brown/Gray-fi elds, Watershed Restoration, Water / Land Conservation)
  • Adds to a very limited, if not null, list of potential reservoir sites in the populated Delaware River Basin.

For more information please contact:

Paul DiRenzo, Jr.
DiRenzo Coal Co.
1389 Bunting Street
Pottsville, PA 17901
570-544-4743 voice
570-617-7810 cell
570-544-6537 fax

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