Delaware River Watershed Initiative

“The Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) is a cross-cutting collaboration working to conserve and restore the streams that supply drinking water to 15 million people in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.”  (4states1source Website)

Supported by the William Penn Foundation, a team of graduate students from the Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems (VCRWS) work directly on projects within DRWI Focus Areas.  The goals of these projects include implementation and monitoring of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) in the watershed, monitoring pre and post-urbanization water quality and flow, and engaging the public through presentations and publications.

The team at Villanova monitors the following sites within the Delaware River Watershed:

  • Two Rain Gardens installed by Cerulean Environmental and AKRF, Inc. that manage stormwater entering the headwaters of the Jenkintown Creek.  When it rains, parking lot runoff is channeled into these rain gardens to be used by plants and allowed to infiltrate for groundwater recharge.
  • A constructed wetland at the College Settlement Camp in Horsham, PA that manages stormwater entering the Pennypack Creek.  Stormwater runoff is channeled to three basins where it fills up ponds and promotes an ecological management technique.  A diverse population of wetland-loving amphibians, reptiles, birds, and insects make their home in this habitat!
  • Currently, we are monitoring Naylor’s Run in anticipation of the installation of three bioswales that will be part of a treatment train located in Drexel Gardens Park in Upper Darby, PA. Specifically, these vegetated systems target the exposed segment of the Naylor's Run tributary to Cobb's Watershed, aiming to reduce flooding and erosion risks in its urban setting. By design, bioswales operate to convey water from surrounding impervious surfaces to proper drainage locations, promoting infiltration and improving water quality along the way. 
  • We monitor a variety parameters at College Settlement, the rain gardens at Jenkintown Creek, and the bioswales at Naylor's Run. Through weather station instrumentation, we monitor rainfall, temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, barometric pressure, and humidity. Within the GSI's, we observe soil moisture and water levels.  All of these parameters are logged in 5 minute intervals and uploaded every 15 minutes to this website. Additional monitoring focuses on the quality of water in which these systems operate, observing nutrient concentrations, pH, conductivity, and any solids found in the waters during baseflow and storm conditions. 

Our Partners:      William Penn Foundation Watershed Protection    

                            Delaware River Watershed Initiative

Graduate students Mike Burns and Rebecca Martin collecting data at Naylor's Run.
Graduate students Mike Burns and Rebecca Martin collecting data at Naylor's Run.