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Open-File Report 2014–1183

User’s Manual for the Upper Delaware River Riverine Environmental Flow Decision Support System (REFDSS), Version 1.1.2

By Colin Talbert, Kelly O. Maloney, Chris Holmquist-Johnson, and Leanne Hanson

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (16.0 MB)Abstract

Between 2002 and 2006, the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted field surveys, organized workshops, and performed analysis of habitat for trout and shad in the Upper Delaware River Basin. This work culminated in the development of decision support system software (the Delaware River DSS–DRDSS, Bovee and others, 2007) that works in conjunction with the Delaware River Basin Commission’s reservoir operations model, OASIS, to facilitate comparison of the habitat and water-delivery effects of alternative operating scenarios for the Basin. This original DRDSS application was developed in Microsoft Excel and is available to all interested parties through the FORT web site (

Initial user feedback on the original Excel-based DSS highlighted the need for a more user-friendly and powerful interface to effectively deliver the complex data and analyses encapsulated in the DSS. In order to meet this need, the USGS FORT and Northern Appalachian Research Branch (NARB) developed an entirely new graphical user interface (GUI) application. Support for this research was through the DOI WaterSmart program ( of which the USGS component is the National Water Census ( The content and methodology of the new GUI interface emulates those of the original DSS with a few exceptions listed below. Refer to Bovee and others (2007) for the original information. Significant alterations to the original DSS include:

• We moved from Excel-based data storage and processing to a more powerful database back end powered by SQLite. The most notable effect of this is that the previous maximum temporal extent of 10 years has been replaced by a dynamic extent that can now cover the entire period of record for which we have data (1928–2000).
• We incorporated interactive geographic information system (GIS) visualization and dynamic data processing. Previous habitat maps were generated outside of the DSS in an ad hoc process that the end user could not update or investigate.
• The original bathymetric data collected in 2005 at the three main stem reaches was augmented with a higher resolution dataset collected in 2010. This new dataset was collected in order to conduct higher resolution (finer pixel size) two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic modeling for evaluating dwarf wedgemussel (DWM, Alasmidonta heterodon) habitat.
• Results charts are now substantially more interactive, dynamic, and accessible, which allows users to more easily focus on their particular topics of interest as well as drill down to the source data used to calculate given results.

First posted September 25, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, Fort Collins Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2150 Centre Ave. Building C
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8118

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Suggested citation:

Talbert, Colin, Maloney, K.O., Holmquist-Johnson, C.L., and Hanson, Leanne, 2014, User’s manual for the upper Delaware River riverine environmental flow decision support system (REFDSS), Version 1.1.2: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1183, 23 p.,

ISSN 2331-1183 (online)



Installation and Configuration

Using the Delaware REFDSS

REFDSS Toolbars

REFDSS Modules

Chart Output Modules

Limitations and Future Work

References Cited

Appendix 1—Credit for Open-Source Components Used

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