Understanding institutional constraints and preferences influencing the development and use of seasonal water supply forecasts

Wednesday, 16 December 2015: 08:34
3011 (Moscone West)
Andrew W Wood1, Pablo A. Mendoza1, Balaji Rajagopalan2, Martyn P Clark1, Levi D Brekke3 and J R Arnold4, (1)National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)Bureau of Reclamation Denver, Denver, CO, United States, (4)US Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville, FL, United States
Seasonal water supply forecasts (WSF) in the western US (typically for snowmelt runoff volumes starting in spring and ending in summer) have a been a central component of water management in the region since the first half of the 20th Century. The two main agencies involved in the operational production of WSFs have used only two approaches to creating WSFs during this history: regression of flow volumes on in situ measurements (SWS), and model-based ensemble streamflow prediction (ESP). In limited cases, climate information or forecasts have been incorporated into the WSFs, but leveraging climate system predictability remains uncommon. In this talk, I offer perspective on the institutional constraints affecting the development and adoption of new WSF techniques, and present insights from a new end-to-end project working with water agency managers toward developing, evaluating and operationalizing (in an experimental mode) a range of new approaches toward enhancing WSFs through improved uses of climate information and forecasts.