Planning & Operations Program
Water resources planning, hydrologic conditions monitoring, and water use operations are critical to the Commission's role in managing the water resources of the Basin. The Planning and Operations program is primarily responsible for flood risk management, drought planning, consumptive use mitigation, water use and availability studies, and hydrologic investigations.
Projects and Initiatives
- Comprehensive Plan – The Susquehanna River Basin Compact (Compact) requires the Commission to plan for the immediate and long-range development and use of the water resources of the Basin. The Comprehensive Plan provides an overarching framework for the Commission to manage the Basin’s water resources and serves as a guide for all Commission programs and activities.
- Water Resources Program – The Compact requires the Commission to have a Water Resources Program that is based on the Comprehensive Plan. The Plan consists of the projects the Commission proposes to undertake in order to meet the water resources’ needs of the Basin. The Program serves as the implementation document for addressing the goals and actions identified under the six priority management areas outlined in the Comprehensive Plan.
- Optimal Groundwater Recharge - Learn about a Commission study that uses GIS analysis to evaluate groundwater recharge factors to identify areas with the best capacity for sustained or enhanced recharge.
- Tri-County Flood Warning System – The Commission, in partnership with Huntingdon, Dauphin, and Lancaster Counties, Pennsylvania, completed a pilot project to provide a camera-based flood warning system at priority locations within each of the counties. The cameras provide images via cellular networks and are available to emergency managers and local officials to rapidly assess real time conditions during significant storm events.
- Chiques Creek Flood Resiliency Study – The Commission and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers developed hydrologic and hydraulic models for the Chiques Creek watershed, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The models were used to characterize existing flood conditions, evaluate flood reduction alternatives, and inform recommendations for improving flood resiliency in Manheim Borough, PA, and the Chiques Creek watershed.
- Susquehanna Flood Forecast and Warning System – The Commission coordinates an interagency committee of Federal, State, and local members with a vested interest in enhanced flood warning. The primary objective of the system is to provide advanced notice of possible flood conditions. Warnings are generated and disseminated by the National Weather Service and issued for nearly 70 river forecast points across the Basin, operated and maintained by the United States Geological Survey.
For more information about floods and current conditions, visit the Flooding page.
- Hydrologic Conditions Monitor (HCM) – shows the status of water use projects regulated by the Commission that have passby flow requirements.
- Drought Coordination Plan – The Commission approved a plan that details methods for monitoring hydrologic data to indicate the onset and severity of drought conditions in the Basin. The Plan also outlines the Commission’s authority, responsibilities, and response actions related to drought management.
- Drought Planning Tool – This partnership focused on developing a drought planning tool that incorporates drought indices and forecast information to help inform water supply planning and operations.
For more information about droughts and current conditions, visit the Drought page.
- Billmeyer Quarry Feasibility Study - The Commission and Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority partnered to assess the feasibility of using Billmeyer Quarry as a source of water during droughts.
- Passby Flow Reference Gage Study – This study was conducted to evaluate the accuracy of using U.S. Geological Survey reference stream gages to estimate passby flow conditions at ungaged water withdrawals sites regulated by the Commission.