Determining the Skill and Value of Incorporating Streamflow Forecasts into an Early Drought Detection System

Project Leader: 
Research Partners: 
Dr. Josh Weiss (Hazen and Sawyer), Susquehanna River Basin Commission, City of Baltimore
Project Fellows: 
Science Themes: 

This research investigates forecast skill in predicting the onset and severity of drought in the Susquehanna River Basin. Streamflow forecasts are incorporated with other key drought indices in a composite drought index to predict and classify drought severity. The skill of the combined drought indices is demonstrated through a case study on the Baltimore Water Supply. A web-based decision support tool is under development that will provide operators of the Baltimore Water Supply and the greater Susquehanna River Basin enhanced understanding of operational alternatives and impacts.

An OASIS Model: Operations and Planning Tool for hte Greater Susquehanna River Basin and Climate re-forecasts (NOAA, NWS, MARFC) are both in development

A STELLA web tool model of the City of Baltimore water and a case study of drought indicators supply are both in development.




  • New England Graduate Student Water Symposium. September 11-13, 2015.
  • Workshop with City of Baltimore, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and Hazen and Sawyer. Ocober 23, 2015.
  • Determining the Skill and Value of Incorporating Streamflow Forecasts into An Early Drought Detection System, AWWA 2016 Sustainabile Water Management Conference. March 9, 2016.
  • Drought Management Using Streamflow Forecasts: A Case Study of the City of Baltimore Water Supply, EWRI World Environmental & Water Resources Congress 2016, May 22-26, 2016
  • Analyzing Streamflow Forecasts in the Context of System Performance: A Case study for Baltimore’s Water Supply, American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Conference  - Oral Presentation November 13-17, 2016
  • STELLA Drought Action Response Tool (DART): Screening tool for drought indicators and baltimore responses                                                                      
  • SRB OASIS Model: Operations & Planning Tool for the Greater Susquehanna River Basin                                                                                                               
  • Climate re-forecasts (NOAA NWS, MARFC)
  • 3 Baltimore Workshops. Presented results to the director of the Baltimore Department of Public Works during the March workshop.
  • Phone conference with the SRBC, given management scenarios to put into DART model which was developed in close coordination with input from the baltimore DPW