Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

5-31-2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering - (Ph.D.)

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Taha F. Marhaba

Second Advisor

Robert Dresnack

Third Advisor

Yuan Ding

Fourth Advisor

Thomas J. Olenik

Fifth Advisor

Paul Schorr

Abstract

The Passaic River Basin is a complex system of rivers, tributaries, reservoirs, and some of the largest water purveyors in the State of New Jersey. Located in the northeastern part of the State, it drains approximately 800 square miles of water that is used for distribution to the five major purveyors: North Jersey District Water Supply Commission, Passaic Valley Water Commission, Jersey City, Newark, and New Jersey American Water. These purveyors operate under a safe yield, which is defined by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) as the amount of water that should be continuously available should the most severe drought of record occur in future conditions. The drought of record is widely accepted to be the mid 1960’s drought; however, the State has experienced other drought conditions that have caused concern for the available water supply.

In 1984, a safe yield study was conducted for the Passaic River Basin by Dr. Robert Dresnack, Dr. Eugene Golub, and Dr. Franklin Salek of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. That study established safe yield values utilizing sixty years of record, from 1921-1981, which concluded that the 1960’s drought was the most severe during that time period. However, in the early 2000’s, a drought occurred that could potentially have been more severe and created the need to evaluate the impact on the Passaic River Basin.

The purpose of this research is to create a model with five years of record, from 2000-2004, to analyze the water availability during the 2000’s drought and compare it with values established for the 1960’s drought. New Jersey has seen increases in population and development which will increase water consumption; therefore, it is important to monitor the water supply system to prevent potentially adverse effects. This model is created utilizing gaged stream flows, reservoir storage data, water diversions, withdrawals, and discharges from permitted users in the system.

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