The Potomac Experience—A Forerunner of DPSby Roland C. Steiner, Interstate Commission on the Potomac, River Basin, Rockville, MD, USA,
Abstract: Thirty years ago, dramatic events were about to begin in Potomac River basin with the publication of a report of study recommending 16 major reservoirs and hundreds of small ones to solve the foreseeable water supply problems in the basin, especially those of the Washington metropolitan area. The proposed solution was confounded by its shear size, the emergence of an era of more critical thinking, and the growing development of more sophisticated analytical tools. When viewed from the perspective of the current Drought Preparedness Studies, the Potomac Experience does seem in some senses to have been a forerunner. Among the greatest similarities is the simultaneous consideration of demands and resource availability on an operational time step with the aid of computer modelling. Other contributions to the success on the Potomac which are hoped to be included in the DPS include: involvement of local elected officials and citizens groups, technical input from the affected water utilities, creative use of analytical techniques, and the dedicated commitment of the project leadership.
Subject Headings: Water supply systems | Water resources | Hydrologic models | Water shortage | Computer models | Basins | Rivers and streams | Washington | North America | United States | Potomac River
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