Revised alternative forecasts of urban land cover in the Delaware River Basin out to the year 2100 are now complete. Read the product documentation for DRB2100 Version 3.1. Visit our products page for information on how to view and download our data.

Our team, Delaware River Basin-Land Use dynamics, is a subset of researchers from the Center for Land Use and Sustainability at Shippensburg University. We have been involved in a number of grants and projects related to the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) since 2014. Past collaborators include the US Geological Survey, Northern Arizona University, and University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab. We recently completed a number of projects with new deliverables, outlined below. These projects were funded through the William Penn Foundation, Delaware Watershed Research Fund, and Open Space Institute.

DRB2100 Version 3.1 builds on DRB2070 Version 2, representing revised alternative forecasts of urban land cover in the Delaware River Basin (DRB) out to 2100.  While Version 3.1 does not include a “business as usual” scenario, it does include the “Corridors” and “Centers” scenarios of urban growth from previous versions. This version also adds another two scenarios, considering “Non-Protection” scenarios for both urban growth scenarios. These “Non-Protection” scenarios consider the “what if” scenario: “what if land protections were to be entirely removed?” These scenarios allow us to envision what the future landscape would look like without protected areas, highlighting the potential value of our existing protected lands network.

To visualize the future land use forecasts, we provide a variety of packages:

1. ArcGIS OnLine Interactive Web Maps

Associated Files:


These web maps allow for quick and easy visualization of urban land projections and forest loss projections at the HUC12 watershed scale. This Urban Land Cover Projection web map shows the percent of urban land cover in HUC 12 watersheds for the Delaware River Basin for 2011 (as represented in the National Land Cover Dataset 2011 edition) and for 2100 under the four different scenarios. The Forest loss Projections web map shows projected forest loss for HUC 12 watersheds for the Delaware River Basin under the four different scenarios of projected urban growth in 2100. Forest loss is calculated as a decrease in percent forest cover from 2011 (as represented in the National Land Cover Dataset 2011 edition).

2. Access Databases

Associated Files:


Access databases of projected urban growth, one for HUC12s and one for NHD catchments. Tables for the Centers, Centers – No Protection, Corridors, and Corridors – No Protection are included. In addition, when the “Urban Forecasts” form is opened, users can select HUC12 watersheds or NHD catchments and a chart showing the percent of watershed or catchment area developed from 2011-2100 is automatically generated.

3. Summaries for NHD Catchments and HUC12 Watersheds

Associated Files:


Each zip file contains a geodatabase that includes DRWI cluster boundaries (for reference), DRB and county boundaries (for reference), and NHD catchments or HUC12 boundaries National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDPlus, Version 2.0). The geodatabase also includes a number of summary tables that report projected land use change for urban, forest, and all NLCD categories.

Also included in the zip file are a series of ArcGIS 10.7 map documents that visualize forest loss or urban change for the Centers and Corridors scenarios, and includes comparison maps in each case to the “Non-Protection” version of these scenarios. The ArcGIS map documents incorporate visualizations using the Time Slider function, so that change between 2011-2100 can be visualized as an animation.

Finally, an ArcPro 2.6 project file is also included that features two maps, one showing urban change and one showing forest loss.

4. Raster Data

Associated Files:


Each zip file contains 30m resolution rasters for each of the four scenarios. The ProbabilityUrban raster is a single band raster that shows the probability (scaled from 0-1) that a pixel is projected to urbanize by 2100. The NLCDSummaryBands raster is a multiband raster file summarizing the number of times a National Land Use Dataset (NLCD) class occurs in each cell in 100 simulations of projected urban growth in 2100.

Visit our products page for DRB Version 3.1, previous versions, high resolution land cover data, and more!

Model My Watershed Integration

With funding from the Open Space Institute and in collaboration with Stroud Water Research Center and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, our 2100 forecasted development has been integrated into Model My Watershed.

For the Delaware River Basin, visualization of urban growth in 2100 is available, and users can see the probability that a particular location will experience urbanization under a selected scenario. To visualize baseline and forecasted development, navigate to the “Coverage Grid” tab of the “Layers” Panel. Users can overlay “DRB2011 Urban Baseline,” “DRB 2100 Urban Centers FX,” or “DRB 2100 Urban Corridors FX.”

Full release notes are available here: