Modeling Inter-Basin Water Transfers in E3SM

Tian Zhou, Matt Cooper, Chang Liao, Donghui Xu, Darren Engwirda, Ning Sun, Zeli Tan, Hong-Yi Li, Dongyu Feng, Gautam Bisht, and L. Ruby Leung



  • Saltwater intrusion in Delaware River Basin (DRB)
  • What role Inter-Basin Water Transfer (IBT) is playing

Video Title

IBT in Delaware River Basin



Up to 800 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) of water extracted for NYC through (IBT)

A data-driven IBT scheme in MOSART-WM


  • Reservoir to reservoir transfer
  • Monthly water transfer at each reservoir is provided by external files
  • Mass is conserved
  • Limitations
    • No transfer loss
    • Instantaneous transfer
    • Consumptive use is not represented

An empirical relationship (R2=0.71) between the weekly maximum salt front position (SF, km from the estuary) and the weekly minimum river discharge (Q, cfs) at Trenton, NJ can be established based on the long-term observation from DRBC:
๐‘†๐น=278โˆ’4.4ร—logโก(๐‘„_๐‘ก )โˆ’14.6ร—logโก(๐‘„_(๐‘กโˆ’1) )

IBT Leads to Enhanced Saltwater Intrusion


  • IBT could push the maximum salt front location upstream by nearly 8 km
  • The findings also highlight the critical need to incorporate IBT into models that assess human impacts on large-scale hydrologic processes

Thank you!